Beijing / Taipei :
Despite threats from China, US Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi has completed her visit to Taiwan and her Asia trip. In different countries, Pelosi gave the message that America is not afraid of China. Tension in East Asia is due to China’s claim on Taiwan and US support to the island nation. China sees Taiwan as part of what it has vowed to include in the People’s Republic of China. China has been opposing the visit of any foreign leader to Taiwan. It says that all countries should refrain from recognizing Taiwan and follow the ‘one-China policy’. Let us know what is China’s ‘One-China Policy’.
What is the history of One China Policy?
At the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Mao Zedong’s communist forces overthrew the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China (ROC) Chiang Kai-shek. The defeated ROC forces fled to Taiwan where they established their own government. After winning, the Communist Party began to rule Mainland China as the People’s Republic of China. Since then both the countries have their respective governments but both have similar cultures and linguistic heritage. Mandarin is spoken as the official language in both the places.
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China considers Taiwan as its province
China has been treating Taiwan as a Chinese province for nearly 70 years and vows to re-incorporate it into the mainland. China maintains that ‘China is only one’ and Taiwan is part of it, but the island country does not accept these claims. Many governments, including the US, initially recognized Taiwan as the Communists moved out of China. However, later on the diplomatic winds changed and the US recognized the People’s Republic of China in view of the need for relations with China.
America also had to support China
In 1979, during the tenure of the then US President Jimmy Carter, the recognition of the Republic of China was abolished. The US also transferred its embassy from Taipei to Beijing. However, the US Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 to protect American security and commercial interests in Taiwan. Since then, America follows the ‘One China’ policy. According to the Brookings Institution, America’s ‘One-China’ policy is not the same as the ‘One-China’ policy of the PRC.
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Taiwan received the recognition of only 15 countries
According to it, ‘the US’ One-China policy includes several elements, such as a peaceful settlement of the cross-strait dispute and a different interpretation of Taiwan’s legal position than Beijing’s claims.’ The institution said that in the 1980s, the US began to call it a ‘policy’ rather than a ‘principle’ to differentiate between China’s claims and US views. The ROC is today recognized by only 15 countries. This includes Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, the Holy See, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland and Tuvalu. Even international bodies such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization have not officially recognized the ROC.
How India sees ‘One China Policy’
India has been following the One China policy since 1949 and has made it clear that it does not recognize anyone other than the government of Beijing. However, India has maintained trade and cultural ties with Taiwan. But India has stopped mentioning the One China policy in official statements and joint declarations since 2008. In fact, China had started telling Arunachal Pradesh as its territory at that time and had also changed the names of many areas of the state.
In response to China’s issuance of staple visas to Indian nationals of Arunachal and Jammu and Kashmir, India took strong action after the meeting of the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the then Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in 2010. The joint statements issued did not mention the ‘one China policy’. Even after the Modi government came to power in 2014, the then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had followed this policy.