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Chinese Foreign Ministry Official on China's Position on UNGA Resolution 2758

By Xinhua|May 13,2024
Beijing - Yang Tao, director-general of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Friday held a briefing to elaborate on China's position on United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 2758.

Yang said that for some time, the United States has been deliberately distorting and challenging UNGA Resolution 2758 adopted in 1971 on restoring the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations and expelling the Chiang Kai-shek group. It has been trumpeting the notion that Taiwan's status is undetermined, and advocating support for Taiwan's participation in U.N. conferences and activities.

Yang noted that recently, Mark Lambert along with other U.S. State Department officials blatantly asserted that UNGA Resolution 2758 "did not endorse, is not equivalent to and does not reflect a consensus for China's 'one-China principle,' has no bearing on countries' sovereign choices with respect to their relationships with Taiwan, does not preclude Taiwan's meaningful participation in the United Nations system and other multilateral forums, and did not constitute a U.N. institutional position on the ultimate political status of Taiwan."

Moreover, the United States claims that its one-China policy is different from China's one-China principle. All this is a U.S. attempt to invent a whole set of false narratives to mislead international public opinion and challenge the one-China consensus among the international community, Yang added.

"In view of this, we deem it necessary to comprehensively and systematically explain the origin and facts of Resolution 2758, so as to set the record straight. We believe a lie, even told a thousand times, will not become truth," Yang said.

First, the one-China principle is very clear, that is, there is but one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China, and the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, Yang said.

Yang noted that UNGA Resolution 2758 fully reflects and solemnly reaffirms the one-China principle. Taiwan has been part of China since ancient times. This is a historical fact; it is also the international consensus. The 1943 Cairo Declaration and the 1945 Potsdam Proclamation clearly stipulated that Taiwan, a Chinese territory stolen by Japan, shall be restored to China. These documents with international legal effect formed an integral part of the post-WWII international order and also established the legal foundation of Taiwan's status as China's inalienable territory.

In 1949, the government of the People's Republic of China was established, replacing the government of the Republic of China as the sole legal government representing the whole of China. It was a change of government without changing China as a subject of international law. China's sovereignty and inherent territorial boundaries did not change. Rightfully, the government of the People's Republic of China fully enjoys and exercises China's sovereignty, including that over Taiwan. Due to continued civil war in China and the meddling of external forces, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have fallen into a special state of protracted political confrontation. However, China's sovereignty and territory have not been split and will never be split. Taiwan's status as part of China has not changed and will never change, Yang said.

Yang noted that on Oct. 25, 1971, the 26th session of the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority. It states in black and white that the General Assembly "decides to restore all its rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it." The Resolution resolved once and for all the question of the representation of the whole of China, including Taiwan, in the United Nations as a political, legal and procedural issue. It made clear that there is only one China in the world and that Taiwan is a part of China, not a country. It also made clear that there is only one seat of China in the United Nations, and the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal representative, precluding "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan."

"If Taiwan's status is undetermined, and if China's representation does not include Taiwan, why expel the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek? Why, for more than 50 years, has Taiwan's economic output been counted as part of China's GDP when calculating China's scale of assessment in the United Nations and many other international organizations? Why does the United States turn a blind eye to such clear facts and simple logic?" Yang said.

Second, the U.N. system has always observed Resolution 2758 and upheld the one-China principle in dealing with Taiwan-related issues, Yang said.

Yang said that since the adoption of Resolution 2758, the U.N. and its specialized agencies, and also other intergovernmental international organizations have all adhered to it. They regard Taiwan as a province of China's and do not recognize the so-called international representation of the Taiwan authorities. The U.N. Office of Legal Affairs has issued legal opinions stating very clearly that "the United Nations considers 'Taiwan' for all purposes to be an integral part of the People's Republic of China," "the United Nations considers 'Taiwan' as a province of China with no separate status," "'authorities' in 'Taipei' are not considered to ... enjoy any form of governmental status," "use the term 'Taiwan, Province of China' when a reference to 'Taiwan' is required in United Nations Secretariat documents." For decades, the U.N. Secretary Generals and their spokespersons have made it clear when expressing their stance on Taiwan that the United Nations is guided by Resolution 2758 and adheres to the one-China principle.

As part of China's territory, Taiwan has no basis, reason or right to participate in the U.N. or any other international organizations where membership is exclusive to sovereign countries. Any issue concerning the Taiwan region's participation in the activities of international organizations must be handled on the basis of the one-China principle, as reaffirmed by Resolution 2758, Yang stressed.

The principle is again confirmed in May 1972 by Resolution 25.1 of the 25th World Health Assembly (WHA), which was adopted in accordance with UNGA Resolution 2758. Hence, whether and how Taiwan participates in the WHA can only be decided by the central government of China. The Democratic Progressive Party authorities in Taiwan refuse to accept the "1992 Consensus" that reflects the one-China principle, and are hellbent on the separatist stance of "Taiwan independence." As a result, the political foundation for Taiwan to participate in the WHA no longer exists. This position of the Chinese government has received wide support from the international community. The WHA has rejected deliberations of Taiwan-related proposals for many consecutive years, Yang said.

Third, the international community overwhelmingly abides by Resolution 2758, and fully and faithfully implements the one-China principle. Resolution 2758 is a decision made by the U.N. General Assembly and must be observed by all member states, Yang said.

Yang added that this is the requirement of the United Nations Charter, the written commitment made by all countries upon joining the U.N., and also an obligation that all U.N. member states must fulfill. The one-China principle is also the fundamental prerequisite and political foundation for China to establish and develop relations with all other countries. From the very first country that established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China to the 183rd country, namely Nauru, they have all made political commitment to adhering to the one-China principle, and included this commitment in political documents such as communiqués and joint statements on the establishment of diplomatic relations with China. And they have all severed the so-called "diplomatic" relations with Taiwan. "This shows that the one-China principle is a universally recognized principle and represents people's sentiments and a global trend."

Yang said that as a signatory to the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, the United States is fully aware of the historical and legal facts that Taiwan belongs to China. Yet it openly challenges the post-WWII international order, as if it has "amnesia." As a founding member of the U.N. and a permanent member of the Security Council, the United States not only fails to take the lead in complying with a UNGA resolution, but repeatedly questions and misinterprets it, eroding the foundation of the U.N. and trampling on the principles of international law. It also attempts to mislead international public opinion with its own malicious distortions, and seeks to force its wrong stance upon the international community. Is this the so-called "rules-based international order" the United States has been preaching? Clearly, this is nothing but a hegemonic practice of applying international law in a selective way.

The world has not forgotten that during the discussions that led to UNGA Resolution 2758, the United States had teamed up with a few countries to try to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," and to push through a "dual representation" proposal against overwhelming opposition. Many countries had stepped forward, voicing their clear opposition and stressing that the proposal was "illegal and inconsistent with reality, justice and the principles of the U.N. Charter." In the end, the proposal failed to be put to a vote and was discarded. Today, the United States is once again acting against the trend of history and trying to overturn the consensus of the international community. It must understand that what it failed to accomplish more than 50 years ago will have even less chances to succeed today, Yang said.

Fourth, the United States must stop fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle, Yang said.

Once the biggest obstacle to the normalization of China-U.S. relations, the Taiwan question had been fully resolved with the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, and there should be no difference between the understanding and policies of the two sides. In the communiqués, the United States clearly states that "the United States of America recognizes the government of the People's Republic of China as the only legal government of China" and that "the government of the United States of America recognizes China's position that there is only one China and Taiwan is part of China," Yang noted.

This is the political commitment of the United States, the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and above all, the original and true meaning of the one-China policy of the United States. However, the fact that China and the United States are still discussing the Taiwan question 45 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations is because the United States keeps violating the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, and continues to interfere in China's internal affairs and obstruct China's reunification, Yang said.

The United States claims that it adheres to the one-China policy, but it has added the "Taiwan Relations Act" and "Six Assurances to Taiwan" as precondition and proviso. The latter two, concocted by the United States unilaterally, fundamentally violate the one-China principle and the consensus of the international community, and have never been recognized by China, Yang stressed.

Yang said that the United States claims that it maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan, but it has arranged meetings between U.S. and Taiwan officials, signed agreements with sovereign connotations and an official nature, and provided arms and ammunition to the Chinese territory. How is this unofficial ties? President Joe Biden has pledged that the United States does not support "Taiwan independence," "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," and does not seek to use Taiwan as a tool to contain China. Has the U.S. side honored its commitment?

China reminds the United States that any move to reverse the course of history is doomed to fail, any effort to play the "Taiwan card" will only backfire, and any attempt to "use Taiwan to contain China" will be a dead end, Yang said.

China warns the United States that with regard to UNGA Resolution 2758, the U.S. has only the obligation to strictly abide by it, but no right to arbitrarily distort it or any privilege to act as the U.S. sees fit, Yang said.

China urges the United States not to stand on the opposite side of the international community, not to stand on the opposite side of international justice, and not to stand on the opposite side of the basic norms of international relations, Yang said.

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