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Peaceful development: Bright road for peaceful reunification

Qian Feng

The Taipei 101 skyscraper, China's Taiwan region. /VCG
The Taipei 101 skyscraper, China's Taiwan region. /VCG

The Taipei 101 skyscraper, China's Taiwan region. /VCG

Editor's note: Qian Feng, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is a senior research fellow at the National Strategic Institute, Tsinghua University, and Taihe Institute. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

On January 2, 2019, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and president of China, addressed a meeting marking the 40th anniversary of the release of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan. In his speech, Xi proposed major policies to advance the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and the peaceful reunification of China in the new era.

At present, the Taiwan leadership election is in full swing, and external forces are encouraging the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces to cause trouble and provocation. All this has added many uncertainties to the development of cross-Straits relations. Today, five years later, this speech is of great practical significance for promoting the peaceful and integrated development of cross-Straits relations and seeking national rejuvenation and national reunification.

Since ancient times, Taiwan has been part of China with a clear history and clear legal facts. In October 1971, the 26th Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which not only completely solved the issue of representation of China in the United Nations, including the Taiwan region, politically, legally and procedurally, but also made it clear that China had only one seat in the United Nations. In practice, the United Nations uses the term for Taiwan as "Taiwan, the province of China."

History is clear, and the facts are clear. Taiwan has never been a country, there is only one China, and both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one country. This has been the status quo of Taiwan since ancient times. The one-China principle is the political basis for China's exchanges with all countries and is the common consensus of the international community. Just as Xi pointed out in his speech, the development of cross-Straits relations has proved that the historical and legal fact that Taiwan is part of China and both sides belong to one and the same China cannot be changed by anyone or any force. The natural emotion and national identity that blood is thicker than water cannot be changed by any force.

In recent years, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities of Taiwan region have adhered to the separatist position of "Taiwan independence," which has caused tension across the Taiwan Straits, undermined the prospect of peaceful reunification and squeezed the space for peaceful reunification. This is a serious crime of splitting the country. It harms the common interests of compatriots on both sides of the Straits and the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. It will not overcome the history and culture of the Chinese nation. It is impossible that it will ever succeed.

The attempts of external forces to "play the Taiwan card" will intensify cross-Straits confrontations and tension across the Taiwan Straits and undermine peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, when they "play the Taiwan card," they regard Taiwan as a pawn to contain the mainland's development and progress and obstruct the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It is natural for China to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity and take effective countermeasures. It has also won the understanding and support of the vast majority of countries in the international community.

"Peaceful reunification; one country, two systems" is the basic policy of the Chinese mainland to solve the Taiwan question and the best way to achieve national reunification. Five years ago, Xi made it clear that the peaceful and integrated development of cross-Straits relations is a bright road leading to peaceful reunification. Over the past five years, the mainland has been actively practicing the principle that "both sides of the Taiwan Straits are one family," taking the well-being of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, promoting peaceful and integrated development of cross-Straits relations, uniting Taiwan compatriots, eliminating interference and obstruction by "Taiwan independence" separatist forces, and promoting deeper and more concrete cross-Straits exchanges, cooperation and personnel exchanges in all fields.

The firework show on Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, China's Taiwan, December 31, 2023. /Xinhua
The firework show on Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, China's Taiwan, December 31, 2023. /Xinhua

The firework show on Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, China's Taiwan, December 31, 2023. /Xinhua

In November, 2023, the central government issued a set of entry-exit policies for Taiwan compatriots to deepen integrated cross-Straits development. The 10 specific measures issued by the exit and entry administration of China's Ministry of Public Security, which came into effect on January 1, cover the application of permits for Taiwan residents to enter or leave the mainland, the fast passage of border inspection for ships, and applications for settlement. They have further promoted personnel exchanges between Fujian and Taiwan, facilitated the life of Taiwan compatriots in Fujian, and deepened the integrated development of all fields across the Taiwan Straits.

Facing each other just across a strip of water, the two sides are, however, still far apart. The fact that until now, the two sides have not yet been reunified is a wound left by history on the Chinese nation. Xi stressed, "The Taiwan question arose out of the weakness and chaos of the Chinese nation, and it will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality."

In the course of cross-Straits development, there is one unchanging principle: only one China – China will surely be unified. This is not only determined by the history and culture of the Chinese nation, but also by the time and trend of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. At present, China's development and progress, especially the great achievements made in its modernization drive over the past 40 years and more, have provided a stronger foundation and capacity for solving the Taiwan question.

In his 2024 New Year speech, Xi said, "China will surely be reunified, and all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits should be bound by a common sense of purpose and share in the glory of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation." Realizing peaceful reunification in accordance with" one country, two systems" will lay a foundation for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, create great opportunities for Taiwan's economic and social development, and bring tangible benefits to Taiwan compatriots. 

At the same time, the reunification of China will bring more development opportunities to all countries, inject more positive energy into the prosperity and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and the world, and will make greater contributions to the cause of world peace and development and human progress.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com. Follow @thouse_opinions on Twitter to discover the latest commentaries in the CGTN Opinion Section.) 

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