The white paper, which demonstrates the resolve of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people and their commitment to national reunification, was also released amid the escalating cross-Straits tensions and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s military drills against Taiwan secessionists and foreign interference. Analysts said the white paper’s release is a warning to Taiwan authorities as well as external forces, as the mainland is much stronger to solve the Taiwan question under the new circumstances.
“We are one China, and Taiwan is a part of China. This is an indisputable fact supported by history and the law. Taiwan has never been a state; its status as a part of China is unalterable,” says the white paper, noting that the CPC is committed to the historic mission of resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification.
“The realization of complete national reunification is driven by the history and culture of the Chinese nation and determined by the momentum towards and circumstances surrounding our national rejuvenation,” the white paper says.
“Never before have we been so close to, confident in, and capable of achieving the goal of national rejuvenation. The same is true when it comes to our goal of complete national reunification,” it added.
The document is China’s third white paper on the Taiwan question. The previous edition was “The Taiwan Question and Reunification of China” (1993) and “The One-China Principle and the Taiwan Question” (2000).
Like the previous editions, the third white paper once again stressed that peaceful reunification and “one country, two systems” are China’s basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question and the best approach to realizing national reunification. It says the differences in social system in mainland and Taiwan are “neither an obstacle to reunification nor a justification for secessionism.”
The fifth chapter of the white paper titled “Bright Prospects for Peaceful Reunification” has four articles. Analysts said it is the first time for the mainland to elaborate on the bright prospect of peaceful reunification in such a high-level official document. It is worth noting that the white paper’s elaboration of “one country, two systems” for Taiwan draws on the experience and lessons of the practice in Hong Kong and Macao, and clearly states that “One Country is the precondition and foundation of Two Systems.”
Zhu Guilan, an expert from Institute of Taiwan Studies under Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the white paper was published in the context of the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress and the fact that China’s economic power, military power have all surpassed those of the past decades.
Experts said that compared with the previous two editions, the latest white paper highlights the “national development and progress lead reunification,” and clarifies that the most critical factor determining the general trend of reunification is China’s development and progress, which suggested that the mainland’s ability to solve the Taiwan question is getting stronger.
On the road of advancing peaceful reunification, the white paper points out obstacles that “must be removed,” pointing to the secession attempts from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities and external interference.
Relying on external forces will achieve nothing for Taiwan’s secessionists, and using Taiwan to contain China is doomed to fail, says the white paper, “The wheel of history rolls on towards national reunification, and it will not be stopped by any individual or any force.”
The white paper’s singling out of the DPP is the highest-level criticism of the Party in a formal document from the mainland, Zhu said, “It sends the message that the mainland will firmly oppose secession and secessionists’ collusion with the US.”
The white paper stressed that the Chinese mainland will not renounce the use of force, and reserves the option of taking all necessary measures. However, this is to guard against external interference and all secessionists’ activities. “In no way does it target our fellow Chinese in Taiwan. Use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances.”
“We are ready to create vast space for peaceful reunification; but we will leave no room for secessionists’ activities in any form,” the white paper says. “We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification.”
Zhang Hua, a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the release of the white paper is highly targeted and timely.
The white paper was released in response to a new round of tensions across the Taiwan Straits caused by Pelosi’s visit, Zhang said, “after military and economic countermeasures, this should be seen as a political one.”
In addition, emphasizing that “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems” are the basic principles toward reunification, it demonstrates the continuity of China’s policy, Zhang said.
The white paper is a systematic summary of CPC’s policies and guidelines on Taiwan question and the new situation of cross-Straits relations since The 18th CPC National Congress, Zhang Wensheng, deputy dean of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
After the DPP came to power, the antagonism between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits has intensified, Zhang said, “with also the deterioration of China-US relations, many people were doubtful of the possibility of peaceful reunification.”
The Chinese mainland needs to explain its policy to the whole nation and the world to win more understanding and support, as the goal of peaceful reunification remains unchanged, and military actions only target Taiwan secessionists and external forces, Zhang said.
The white paper says that the future of Taiwan lies in China’s reunification, and the wellbeing of the people in Taiwan hinges on the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Once peaceful reunification is achieved under “one country, two systems,” it will lay new foundations for China to make further progress and achieve national rejuvenation. At the same time, it will create huge opportunities for social and economic development in Taiwan and bring tangible benefits to the people of Taiwan, it says.