Since I assumed my duties as the Consular General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos for over three months, I have forged a deep friendship with people from all walks of life in Nigeria. Despite our differences in nationality, color, and race, I can feel that our hearts and minds are intertwined. Both Nigerian and Chinese people share the values of optimism, simplicity and kindness, and show similar national pride and identity, especially their strong sense and firm position of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity and opposing all secessionist forces, which makes me firmly believe that there is a deep soil of mutual understanding and support between the two peoples.

YAN Yuqing, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos

Recently, with the opening of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the voice of hyping the so-called “Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN” has begun to rise. In view of this, I think it is necessary to take this opportunity to sincerely introduce the historical truth of the Taiwan question to my Nigerian friends and set the record straight.

First, Taiwan has been an integral part of China’s territory since ancient times, with a clear historical background and sound legal basis.

Taiwan has belonged to China since ancient times. This statement has a sound basis in history and jurisprudence. A large number of historical records and annals document the development of Taiwan by the Chinese people in earlier periods. The State of Wu and Sun in the 3rd century and the royal court of the Sui Dynasty in the 7th century both sent more than 10,000 people to Taiwan. Starting from the Song and Yuan dynasties, the imperial central governments of China all set up administrative bodies to exercise jurisdiction over Penghu and Taiwan.

In 1624, Dutch colonialists invaded and occupied the southern part of Taiwan. In 1662, General Zheng Chenggong, hailed as a national hero, led an expedition and expelled them from the island. Subsequently, the Qing court gradually set up more administrative bodies in Taiwan. In 1684, a Taiwan prefecture administration was set up under the jurisdiction of Fujian Province. In 1885, Taiwan’s status was upgraded and it became the 20th province of China.

In July 1894, Japan launched a war of aggression against China, and the defeated Qing government was forced to cede Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan next year. In 1943, the Cairo Declaration issued by China, the United States and the United Kingdom stated that all the territories Japan had stolen from China, such as Northeast China, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, should be restored to China. In 1945, The Potsdam Proclamation reiterates this position. In September of the same year, Japan signed the instrument of surrender, in which it promised that it would faithfully fulfill the obligations laid down in the Potsdam Proclamation. On October 25 the Chinese government announced that it was resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan. From that point forward, China had recovered Taiwan de jure and de facto through a host of documents with international legal effect.

On October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded; becoming the successor to the Republic of China (1912-1949), and the Central People’s Government became the only legitimate government of the whole of China. The new government replaced the previous KMT regime in a situation where China, as a subject under international law, did not change and China’s sovereignty and inherent territory did not change. As a natural result, the government of the PRC should enjoy and exercise China’s full sovereignty, which includes its sovereignty over Taiwan.

As a result of the civil war in China in the late 1940s and the interference of external forces, the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have fallen into a state of protracted political confrontation. But the sovereignty and territory of China have never been divided and will never be divided, and Taiwan’s status as part of China’s territory has never changed and will never be allowed to change.

Understanding the basic fact that Taiwan is an integral part of China’s territory, the so-called view of “comparing the Taiwan question with the Ukraine crisis” is debunked. The Taiwan question is completely China’s internal affair, while the Ukraine conflict is a dispute between two sovereign states, and there is no comparison between the two.

Second, in today’s world, the One-China principle has been widely recognized by the international community. The trend of history is irreversible and the will of the people cannot be violated.

At its 26th session in October 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which undertook “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”. It also spelled out that China has one single seat in the UN, so there is no such thing as “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”.

Resolution 2758 is a political document encapsulating the one-China principle whose legal authority leaves no room for doubt and has been acknowledged worldwide. Taiwan does not have any ground, reason, or right to join the UN, or any other international organization whose membership is confined to sovereign states.

The one-China principle represents the universal consensus of the international community; it is consistent with the basic norms of international relations. To date, 182 countries including Nigeria have established diplomatic relations with the PRC on the basis of the one-China principle. In recent years, more and more countries have chosen to rupture so-called “diplomatic ties” with Taiwan, reflecting that China’s determination to pursue national reunification has been widely recognized by the international community. In today’s world, reunification is in line with the trend of history and the right path, while a ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist force is a historical trend against the will of the people and a dead end.

Third, at all times, China will firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the great cause of reunification will be accomplished, while attempts at secession will surely come to fail.

Throughout China’s 5,000-year history, national reunification and opposition to secession have always been the common ideals and culture traditions of the Chinese nation. The truth of “united we stand, divided we fall” must be deeply felt by the Nigerian people. The secessionist forces led by the so-called “Republic of Oduduwa” and “Republic of Biafra” are constantly threatening the peace, prosperity and unity of Nigeria.

Only by achieving full national reunification can we heal the wounds left by history on our country. As Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the great pioneer of the China’s democratic revolution, said, “Unification is the hope of all Chinese people. If China can be unified, all Chinese will enjoy a happy life; if it cannot, all will suffer.”

The will of the Chinese government and people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity is unbreakable, and the complete reunification of the motherland is the common aspiration and sacred duty of all sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. China is ready for peaceful coexistence and common development with all countries, but will never allow any country or force to undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Taiwan question, which arose out of national weakness and disorder, will inevitably be resolved with national rejuvenation and is unstoppable. Provoking trouble on the Taiwan question and trying to undermine China’s great cause of reunification and the process of national rejuvenation are completely futile and doomed to failure.

Unity is a powerful force to overcome all difficulties and the light of hope for building consensus and promoting human progress. However, when unity comes from the lips of those who wish to divide the country, is a great blasphemy against the word. The wheel of the history of China’s reunification is rolling forward, and no one or any force can stop it.

YAN Yuqing, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, writes.