I Foreword I II III IV V Conclusion
II. The One-China Principle--the Basis and Prerequisite for Achieving Peaceful Reunification
The One-China Principle is the foundation stone for the Chinese government's policy on Taiwan. On Comrade Deng Xiaoping's initiative, the Chinese government has, since 1979, adopted the policy of peaceful reunification and gradually evolved the scientific concept of "one country, two systems." On this basis, China established the basic principle of "peaceful reunification, and one country, two systems." The key points of this basic principle and the relevant policies are: China will do its best to achieve peaceful reunification, but will not commit itself to rule out the use of force; will actively promote people-to-people contacts and economic and cultural exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, and start direct trade, postal, air and shipping services as soon as possible; achieve reunification through peaceful negotiations and, on the premise of the One-China Principle, any matter can be negotiated. After reunification, the policy of "one country, two systems" will be practiced, with the main body of China (Chinese mainland) continuing with its socialist system, and Taiwan maintaining its capitalist system for a long period of time to come. After reunification, Taiwan will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, and the Central Government will not send troops or administrative personnel to be stationed in Taiwan. Resolution of the Taiwan issue is an internal affair of China, which should be achieved by the Chinese themselves, and there is no call for aid by foreign forces. The afore-mentioned principles and policies embody the basic stand and spirit of adhering to the One-China Principle, and fully respect Taiwan compatriots' wish to govern and administer Taiwan by themselves. On May 1, 1995, President Jiang Zemin put forward eight propositions on the development of relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits and the promotion of peaceful reunification of China, explicitly pointing out: "Adhering to the One-China Principle is the basis and prerequisite for peaceful reunification."
Only by adhering to the One-China Principle can peaceful reunification be achieved. The Taiwan issue is one left over by the Chinese civil war. As yet, the state of hostility between the two sides of the Straits has not formally ended. To safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and realize the reunification of the two sides of the Straits, the Chinese government has the right to resort to any necessary means. Peaceful means would be favorable to the common development of the societies on both sides of the Straits, and to the harmony and unity of the compatriots across the Straits. Peaceful means is therefore the best means. The Chinese government's declaration in 1979 on implementing the principle of peaceful reunification was based on the premise that the Taiwan authorities at that time upheld the principle that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of China. Meanwhile, the Chinese government took into account the fact that the U.S. government, which for many years had supported the Taiwan authorities, had accepted that there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is a part of China and the government of the PRC is the only legitimate government of China, and saw this acknowledgment as being beneficial to the peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue. While carrying out the policy of peaceful reunification, the Chinese government always makes it clear that the means used to solve the Taiwan issue is a matter of China's internal affairs, and China is under no obligation to commit itself to rule out the use of force. This is by no means directed against Taiwan compatriots, but against the scheme to create an "independent Taiwan" and against the foreign forces interfering with the reunification of China, and is intended as a necessary safeguard for the striving for peaceful reunification. Resort to force would only be the last choice made under compelled circumstances.
As for Taiwan, upholding the principle of one China indicates that it acknowledges that China's sovereignty and territory are inalienable. In this way, both sides of the Taiwan Straits will have a common basis and premise and may find ways to solve their political differences and realize peaceful reunification through consultation on an equal footing. If Taiwan denies the One-China Principle and tries to separate Taiwan from the territory of China, the premise and basis for peaceful reunification will cease to exist.
As for the United States, if it promises to follow a one-China policy, it should earnestly implement the three communiques between the Chinese and U.S. governments and fulfill the series of promises it has made. It should maintain only cultural, commercial and other non-governmental relations with Taiwan; oppose "Taiwan independence," "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" and not to stand in the way of the reunification of China. Acting otherwise will destroy the external conditions necessary for the Chinese government to strive for peaceful reunification.
As for countries in the Asia-Pacific region and other regions in the world, the situation across the Taiwan Straits has always been closely linked with the stability of the Asia-Pacific region. Adherence to the policy of one China by countries concerned will be beneficial to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and favorable for China to develop friendly relations with other countries, and therefore conforms to the interests of the Asia- Pacific region and other countries in the world.
The Chinese government is actively and sincerely striving for peaceful reunification. To achieve peaceful reunification, the Chinese government has appealed time and again for cross-Straits negotiations on the basis of equality and the One-China Principle. Taking Taiwan's political reality into full account and out of consideration for the Taiwan authorities' request for the negotiations to be held on an equal footing, we have put forward one proposal after another, such as that the negotiations should be held between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese KMT on a reciprocal basis and that the talks between the two parties may include representatives from all parties and mass organizations of Taiwan, and we have never spoken of negotiations between the "central and local authorities." The Chinese government has also proposed that dialogues may start first, including political dialogues, which may gradually move on to procedural consultations for political talks to solve the name, the topics for discussion and the forms of official talks before political talks are held. Political talks may be carried out step by step. First, negotiations should be held and an agreement reached on an official end to the state of hostility between the two sides under the principle of one China so as to jointly safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and work out plans for the development of the future inter-Straits relations. In January 1998, to seek and expand the political basis for relations between the two sides, the Chinese government explicitly proposed to the Taiwan side that before the realization of reunification and in handling affairs concerning inter-Straits relations, especially during the talks between the two sides, the One-China Principle should be upheld, namely that there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is a part of China and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity is not to be separated. The Chinese government hopes that on the basis of the One-China Principle, the two sides will hold consultations on an equal footing and discuss national reunification together.
To strive for peaceful reunification, the Chinese government has adopted a series of positive policies and measures to promote the comprehensive development of cross-Straits relations. From the end of 1987, when the state of isolation between the two sides was terminated, to the end of 1999, the number of Taiwan compatriots coming to the mainland of China for visiting their relatives, sightseeing or exchanges reached 16 million by turnstile count. The total indirect trade volume between the two sides of the Straits has exceeded US$ 160 billion; the agreed capital to be invested by Taiwan business people in the mainland has exceeded US$ 44 billion, of which US$ 24 billion has been actually used. Great progress has been made in the exchange of mail and telecommunications across the Straits; and some progress has been made in the exchange of air and shipping services too. The NPC and its Standing Committee, the State Council, and local governments have worked out a sequence of laws and regulations to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots. To properly solve the concrete issues arising from the people-to- people contacts between the two sides through consultations, in November 1992 the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation reached the common understanding during talks on routine affairs that each of the two organizations should express verbally that "both sides of the Taiwan Straits adhere to the One-China Principle." On this basis, the leaders of these two organizations successfully held the "Wang Daohan-Koo Chen-fu talks" and signed several agreements on protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits in April 1993. In October 1998, the leaders of the two organizations met in Shanghai, starting political dialogue across the Straits. The talks between the two organizations were carried out on an equal footing. Practice has proved that on the basis of the One-China Principle, it is entirely possible to find a proper way for holding talks, based on equality, between the two sides. Since Hong Kong and Macao's return to China, people-to-people contacts and exchanges between Hong Kong and Taiwan and between Macao and Taiwan have continued and developed on the basis of the One-China Principle.