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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times One Taiwan and ‘one China’

One Taiwan and ‘one China’

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“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the Republic of China (ROC),” ROC founder Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) granddaughter Lily Sun (孫穗芳) said during a visit to the Legislative Yuan on Monday.

Lily Sun’s remark came as she responded to media queries on her thoughts about the founding of the ROC in China, which is now the PRC.

While local media have characterized Lily Sun’s remark as shocking, her response merely reflects a matter of international reality in which “one China, with the PRC as the representative government of China,” is generally accepted.

For people familiar with cross-strait history, it is unambiguous that Sun Yat-sen ended the Qing Dynasty with the establishment of the ROC on Jan. 1, 1912. However, in 1949, the ROC government fled to Taiwan after losing the Chinese Civil War to the Chinese Communist Party; and in 1971 the ROC’s UN seat was taken over by the PRC after the General Assembly passed UN Resolution 2758, which stated the UN would henceforth recognize the PRC as the legitimate government of China.

In other words, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has, in past decades, incessantly told people in Taiwan that “one China” is recognized as the ROC, the KMT’s narrative does not sit well with members of the international community, as the PRC has been regarded by the majority as the sole, legitimate representative of China.

However, in an attempt to hinder Taiwanese independence and therefore take advantage of a nebulous legal relationship between the ROC government and China, the KMT came up with the so-called “1992 consensus,” which it claims refers to a tacit understanding between Taipei and Beijing that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “one China” means.

The KMT’s illusion that Beijing supports the idea of “one China, with each side having its own interpretation,” was foiled when cables released by WikiLeaks in September 2011 quoted Chinese officials and academics as saying that China does not recognize that each side has its own interpretation of “one China,” because such an interpretation would be tantamount to an acceptance of “two Chinas” — a situation intolerable to Beijing.

Chinese academic Sun Shengliang (孫盛良) also acknowledged in the cable that the “1992 consensus” — as often contended by the Democratic Progressive Party — was basically invented by then-Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) of the KMT.

In other words, unless Beijing publicly recognizes the ROC Constitution and admits that its occupation of “mainland China” is illegitimate, the KMT’s claim that both Taiwanese and Chinese belong to a single nation called the ROC is moot.

However, despite all these obvious statements, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the KMT continue touting the fictitious “1992 consensus” as the basis of peaceful developments in cross-strait relations.

As Lily Sun’s remark that “the PRC is the ROC” comes as yet another frank debunking of Ma and the KMT’s repeated claims to the public that “one China” refers to the ROC, it should also serve as a wake-up call to those who until now have been submerged in the illusion created by the KMT, by prompting them into acknowledging reality, which is “one Taiwan and ‘one China’ on each side of the Taiwan Strait.”

Source: Taipei Times - 2015/12/10

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