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A Preliminary Analysis of Mainland China's "One China Strategy" 1. Introduction

  • Date:1997-02-28

Since June 1995,Mainland China has reiterated "peaceful unification" and "one country, two systems" as the basis of its Taiwan policy, which is a united front tactic. At the same time, under the pretext that we are pursuing "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," it has resorted to smear-campaign/saber-rattling aiming to force us to accept its version of "one China"--a goal it is anxious to achieve at the present stage in its program against Taiwan. It may be recalled that when the two sides of the Taiwan Strait began contacts and negotiations through government-designated intermediary bodies in 1991, Mainland China asserted that the "one China" principle should be confirmed before any technical consultations could be held. After several rounds of talks, the two sides eventually reached a consensus in November 1992 -- that the "definition of one China is subject to respective interpretations by the two sides." This marked the beginning of cross-strait negotiations. However, two and half years later, Mainland China deliberately shrugged off this consensus and reiterated its claim that the "one China" principle be accepted before any rounds of talks could be resumed. Facts speak for themselves. The Mainland authorities' proposal introduced earlier that the "one China" principle must be adopted first was aimed at laying a foundation for the negation of our legal institution and jurisdiction. Now, they are accusing us of violating the "one China" principle because of President Lee Teng-hui's visit to the United States and our pursuit of pragmatic diplomacy. They first conducted a smear campaign and rattled the saber and then abruptly cut off normal dialogues to pressure us ceaselessly with psywar, trying to force us into a concession in principles for their political gains. Therefore, we have to study the evolution of their political strategies and the use of their "one China" strategy and understand the possible impact of these strategies on us in order to plan for our response.