China and the United Nations

The one-China principle

Sir, – Further to “The UN and status of Taiwan” (Letters, September 18th), there are several historical facts needs to be clarified.

When discussing the post-second World War international order, we must notice the Potsdam Proclamation issued after the the Potsdam Conference in 1945 reaffirmed the terms of the Cairo Declaration, which states that all the territories Japan has stolen from China, such as Taiwan, shall be restored to China. This is a major outcome of the World Anti-Fascist War after 35 million Chinese soldiers and civilians were either killed or wounded during that war.

In 1945, the then Republic of China, which represented the whole Chinese territory including both mainland and Taiwan, became a member of the UN. In 1949, after defeated in civil war, Chiang Kai-shek and some of his followers fled to Taiwan, which led to the confrontation and separation between mainland and Taiwan. Despite that, the Chiang Kai-shek regime always insisted that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China, and never gave up their ambition to achieve reunification of China. With the support of the US and some other countries, the Chiang Kai-shek regime held the seat of China in the UN until 1971. On October 25th, 1971, the 26th session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority, which “decides to restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and to recognise the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations”, and to expel forthwith the representatives of the Taiwan authorities “from the place which they unlawfully occupy”. Henceforth, the “dual representation” proposal put forth by the US and a few other countries to keep Taiwan’s seat in the UN became a piece of waste-paper.

If China’s representation does not include Taiwan, why expel representatives of the Taiwan authorities? The resolution does not need to mention part of a country, which just shows that the government of the People’s Republic of China represents all of China, including Taiwan. The one-China principle is a prevailing consensus among the international community, a basic norm in international relations, and the political foundation for the establishment and development of diplomatic relations between China and other countries, including Ireland. – Yours, etc,




Chinese Embassy in Ireland,

Dublin 4.