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Relations Across The Taiwan Straits 5. Conclusion

  • Date:1994-07-29

1. Division Is a Misfortune for the Chinese People

The division of China under two separate governments is a great misfortune for the Chinese people, less so for the Chinese people on Taiwan. After the communist takeover of  mainland China, the territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu was preserved as a base for nurturing China's future vitality. After forty years of effort, the Republic of China on Taiwan has created a degree of democracy and prosperity unprecedented in Chinese history. These forty years or more have seen the transformation of Taiwan from a remote offshore island into a pivotal force directing China's future.

The government of the Republic of China led the Chinese people through eight years of bloody war to a final victory over the Japaness imperialist invaders, abrogated the unequal treaties, and made China a founder-member of the United Nations with a permanent seat on its Security Council. But since the Peking regime was established in mainland China in 1949, the people of the mainland have suffered. The CCP regime has endlessly provoked military clashes with its neighbors, while at home it has been racked by power struggles and purges, creating a situation of backwardness and destitution under communist rule.

2. The Contribution Peking Should Make Toward Unification

We call on the CCP to further promote its economic reforms and carry out all-round political reform, as this alone can deliver our mainland compatriots from poverty and want and allow them to live lives of humanity and dignity. We also call on the Peking regime to face up to the problems confronting relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, to realize the fact that China is a divided country under two separate governments, and to pursue the development of cross-Strait relations in earnest according to the principles of reason, peace, parity, and reciprocity. This is the only way we can create an opportunity for the peaceful unification of China.

We believe that the Chinese people are absolutely opposed to either military threats or the devastation of war. Threats only increase mutual hostility and war would destroy both sides. Anyone who resorts to arms in the name of unification will be condemned by history. Only when we develop our fellow-feeling as Chinese and treat each other equally will the obstacles to cross-Strait relations be overcome and will we draw closer together.

3. The True Worth of Unification Lies in Democracy, Freedom, and Equitable Prosperity

 "Peaceful unification," however, is not enough; we should have "democratic unification." Only unification under a free and democratic system will give the Chinese people happiness and enable China to make a greater contribution to world peace, security, and prosperity. If China were unified under a dictatorship and human rights were violated, it would pose a grave threat to world peace and as such would not be tolerated by other countries. At the same time, we believe that the real significance of unification lies not only in the achievement of a strong and prosperous country and the long-term development of the Chinese nation, it also lies in enabling the Chinese people to enjoy democracy, freedom, and equitable prosperity. If we cannot achieve this, unification will be completely meaningless and worthless.

Looking back over the past and forward to the future, the ROC government will continue to adhere to the stance of "giving priority to humanitarian concerns and gradually expanding people-to-people exchanges, increasing mutual understanding by focusing on cultural exchange, and expanding economic and trade ties according to the principles of complementarity and mutual benefit." We will make every effort to promote cross-Strait relations to encourage the favorable development of interaction between the two sides. The ROC government will also continue to devise a forward- looking, pragmatic, active, and moderate strategy for overall exchanges, and will neither draw back on account of Peking's hostility, nor make rash advances in response to Peking's enticements. We are confident that the wisdom and efforts of the entire Chinese people will help us to create a new situation, speed up political, economic, and social modernization in mainland China, and eventually complete the sacred mission of unifying China under democracy, freedom, and equitable prosperity.