In China, Taiwan, Ukraine
Flag map of Unified China (People's Republic of China)

Flag map of Unified China (People’s Republic of China). Image from Wikimedia Commons).

A NEW COLD WAR EXCLUSIVE by William Ging Wee Dere, May 20, 2023

William Ging Wee Dere
May 20, 2023

News for the pro-war hawks in Washington and Ottawa, Beijing will not militarily invade Taiwan!

This is the view of retired PLA air force major general, and now a professor at the People’s Liberation Army National Defence University in Beijing, Qiao Liang, who is seen as a hawkish voice in military affairs and co-author of Unrestricted Warfare. “If Beijing wants to take Taiwan back by force, it will need to mobilise all its resources and power to do this,” said Qiao. He gave an interview with the South China Morning Post in May 2020, but his views are still current today. He stated that “The top priority is not reunification of Taiwan, but to achieve the dream of national rejuvenation – so that all 1.4 billion Chinese can have a good life.” Qiao added, “The Taiwan issue is actually a key problem between China and the US, even though we have insisted it is China’s domestic issue. In other words, the Taiwan issue cannot be completely resolved unless the rivalry between Beijing and Washington is resolved.” As in other international matters, the Chinese are showing long-term patience on the “Taiwan question.”

The US and its allies, like Canada, are trying to internationalize the “Taiwan question” and the media is following suit with the myriad comparisons of Taiwan and Ukraine. Taiwan is not Ukraine, as we will see.

Brief modern history of Taiwan and international agreements

When the Japanese invaded China, it seized control of Taiwan from the weak Qing Dynastic government in 1895. Japan occupied Taiwan until 1945. The Chinese province of Taiwan was the subject of at least 5 international agreements.

  1.  Cairo Declaration, December 1, 1943, called on Japan to restore the occupied Chinese territories of Manchuria, Taiwan, and the Penghu Islands to the Republic of China. The ROC government under the control of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang was internationally recognized as the legitimate power in China.
  2. Potsdam Proclamation, Jul 26, 1945, reaffirmed the Cairo Declaration to restore Manchuria, Taiwan, and the Penghu to ROC control. At the same time, the Korean Peninsula was given its independence from Japanese occupation.
  3. Japanese Instrument of Surrender, September 2, 1945, relinquished all Chinese territories, covered by the Potsdam agreement back to Chinese control. This included the Diaoyutai Islands which the Japanese still control with the connivance of the US.
  4. Treaty of San Francisco, September 1951. The main aims of this treaty were to end the US occupation of Japan and for Japan to recognize the independence of Korea and renounce all claims to its territory. Japan again renounced all claims to Taiwan and the Pescadores (Penghu), but no receiving country was specified. Neither the ROC nor the PRC were invited to be parties to this treaty. Due to the absence of Chinese representation, some pro-US revisionist historians claim that Taiwan was never returned to the jurisdiction of China.
  5. Treaty of Peace between ROC and Japan, April 1952 formally ended the war between Japan and the Republic of China. It reaffirmed the principles of the Potsdam Proclamation returning Taiwan to China.

With the imminent defeat of the KMT to the CPC in the Chinese civil war, Chiang Kai-shek and his forces retreated to Taiwan along with the administration of the Republic of China over the course of 4 months starting in August 1949. The People’s Republic of China was proclaimed by Mao Zedong in Beijing October 1, 1949. The KMT administration ruled Taiwan under a military dictatorship until 1992 when martial law was officially lifted.

Canada was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, despite the military dictatorship of Taiwan waging a desperate rear-guard battle against Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau at the time. The 1970 agreement stated:

“The Chinese Government reaffirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The Canadian Government takes note of this position of the Chinese Government.”

This “Canadian formula” was used by Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the PRC.

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, 1971 recognized the People’s Republic of China as “the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations.” This recognition of “one-China” included Taiwan province. When the US and China established diplomatic relations in 1979, Washington recognized that the government of the People’s Republic of China was “the sole legal Government of China.” The US also moved from “taking note” to “acknowledging” the Chinese position that Taiwan was part of China. This was the American “one-China” policy up until now. Both the constitutions of the ROC (Taiwan) and the PRC recognize that Taiwan is an integral part of China.

For those who bandy about the “rules-based international order,” these are the international rules governing China and its Taiwan province.

US and Canadian efforts to split Taiwan from China

Only 12 countries plus the Vatican have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. These countries are governed by right wing politicians and small Pacific or Caribbean Islands that survive by the grace of the US, e.g., Haiti, Palau, St. Lucia, etc. However, some Western countries are slicing away at the one-China policy with de-facto recognition of the Taiwanese government. The first of these is Lithuania which in 2021 changed the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office to Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office. The Taiwan government had agreed to establish a US$200 million fund for industry in Lithuania. Fifty-eight other countries, including Canada, maintain a Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO). This is a situation which the PRC tolerates. That is why Hong Kong and Macau still maintain a TECO, a carryover from colonial history.

The Canadian political class is also slicing away at the one-China position which has served Canada well for over 50 years during periods of active engagement and mutually beneficial trade with the PRC. However, the April 2023 delegation to Taiwan by Canadian MP’s, representing all the political parties, invoked the sovereign rights of Taiwan as a separate entity. This was the 2nd all-party delegation to Taiwan in six months following the visit led by Judy Sgro in October 2022. The latest Canadian delegation took a bellicose tone as its leader, Liberal MP John McKay said, “Taiwan’s fight is Canada’s fight.” McKay’s delegation was funded by the Taiwanese government, and at its invitation.

McKay is front and center in pushing for a foreign interference registry bill aimed at China, along with the other members of the delegation like Heather McPherson of the NDP and Conservative Michael Chong. An objective observer can clearly see that they are acting as agents of Taiwan and interfering into Canadian affairs on its behalf. This is the hypocrisy of these MP’s and their support for the foreign interference registry.

The media is following suit to internationalizing the Taiwan question by promoting its independence using Ukraine as a false flag. The media is giving a lot of ink to revisionist historian Scott Simon, co-holder of the Chair of Taiwan Studies at the University of Ottawa and Senior Fellow at the extreme right-wing McDonald-Laurier Institute, which is in part subsidized by Taiwan. Simon stresses that Canada should never recognize the PRC position that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. In his warlike assertions, he wrote:

“If Taiwan is not part of China, then any Chinese invasion of the island would contravene international laws, as it would be an invasion of a sovereign state. It would be legitimate for the international community to intervene. And if the international community recognized Taiwan as part of China, then a Chinese invasion would be seen as an internal matter, which is what China hopes to see.”

This militaristic attitude is built into Canada’s new Indo-Pacific Policy and the Canadian navy has been sailing through the Taiwan Strait and the South and East China Sea in a menacing manner alongside US warships. The Indo-Pacific Policy allocates $2.3 billion to strengthen Canadian “infrastructure, democracy and Canadian citizens against foreign interference.” $500 million will be used to engage in international military exercises and to increase the number of warships deployed in the area. The Canadian policy will further aid the military-industrial complex with the building of 15 new warships at a construction cost of $85 billion.

The American policy to contain China has pushed its allies into a winner takes all attitude towards China, an apocalyptic battle between “democracy and authoritarianism.” Joe Biden, after becoming president, showed the way for John McKay when he said that the US will defend Taiwan. So, Taiwan has become the military beachhead for Western democracies. Since 2010, the US sold Taiwan $23 billion worth of arms with over $1 billion in 2022 alone. The arms include the the hi-tech, high precision HIMARS artillery system which has been used with effectiveness against the Russians in Ukraine. This system has a range of 500km which would reach into mainland China. The latest news has the US providing $500 million of free armaments to the Taiwanese military. Beijing claims that the US military interventions in Taiwan which includes hundreds of American trainers, could turn the island into a “powder keg.” Still, mired in the Ukraine military operations, the US continues to stoke its policy of never-ending wars using Taiwan. This dangerous war-like policy is drawing in US allies, principally Canada, UK, and Australia.

However, some of the American allies in Europe are pushing back. Following his visit to China in April 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron stated “It’s the One-China policy and a Pacific resolution of the situation. That’s what I said in my one-to-one meeting with Xi Jinping, that’s what was said everywhere, we haven’t changed.” He added, “France does not support provocations, does not engage in fantasy politics and considers the status quo, respect and clarity are the best allies of European strategic autonomy.” These sentiments are echoed by Dutch PM Marc Rutte, “We agree that an open and strategically autonomous Europe should be capable to develop those relations also with other parts of the world. To be a player, and not the playing field” Macron caused some consternation in Washington and Ottawa with his statement that France is not a “vassal” of the US.

Taiwan is a Chinese domestic issue

Pretty much ignored by the West, China released its White Paper on peaceful reunification with Taiwan last August. The Paper recognizes that Taiwan has been a part of China since ancient times. The main points of the White Paper:

The UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 is a political document encapsulating the one-China principle whose legal authority leaves no room for doubt and has been acknowledged worldwide.
The one-China principle represents the universal consensus of the international community; it is consistent with the basic norms of international relations.
Peaceful reunification and “one country, two systems” are our basic principles for resolving the Taiwan question and the best approach to realizing national reunification. Embodying the Chinese wisdom — we thrive by embracing each other — they take full account of Taiwan’s realities and are conducive to long-term stability in Taiwan after reunification.

The Paper acknowledges that the separatist Democratic Progressive Party is encouraged by external forces like the US government and various delegations, including Canadian ones, who are stirring the pot to advocate for Taiwan independence. Beijing responded that it will not accept foreign interference to separate Taiwan and will use force to defeat Western military interference. This is the statement that the Western media plays up.

The PRC patiently continues its mission for national rejuvenation as emphasized by this statement from Xi Jinping in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

“Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China. It is also a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. We will uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and advance peaceful national reunification. All of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward “Taiwan independence,” and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

William Ging Wee Dere is the author of the award-winning “Being Chinese in Canada, The Struggle for Identity, Redress and Belonging.” (Douglas & McIntyre, 2019). He was an anti-imperialist political organizer and was also a leading activist in the 2-decade movement for redress of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act. He is a member of the Progressive Chinese of Quebec.



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Assault groups of PMC "Wagner" are attacking the southern outskirts of Bakhmut (Artemovsk),Courtesy of Wikimedia commons. French protests against proposed pension reforms.