As the Chinese saying goes, good planning or otherwise will break everything one does. Regarding the Taiwan question, the Communist Party of China puts a premium on front-loaded efforts toward peaceful reunification. From the liberation of Taiwan to peaceful reunification, from peaceful development to integrated development, from the “one country, two systems” to the Party’s overall strategy for resolving the Taiwan question in the new era, the whole Party has been unswerving in its determination to realize reunification of the motherland by building on past achievements.
The ideal path to resolving the Taiwan question is for the people across the Taiwan Strait to jointly work out a road map and timetable for reunification through extensive, in-depth consultations. However, because of the complex realities — including the influence of separatist forces on the island intertwined with external factors — the process of national reunification is inevitably met with setbacks and interruptions.
In recent years, external forces have increasingly interfered, which only adds to the complexities. The CPC has maintained its determination and self-confidence, emphasizing in the 20th National Congress report that it will adhere to the overall strategy for resolving the Taiwan question in the new era, firmly grasp the leading position and initiative in cross-strait relations and unswervingly push forward the reunification of the motherland, which is a consistent message to domestic and world audiences that it wants to resolve the Taiwan issue peacefully.
Achieving reunification peacefully
Peaceful reunification and “one country, two systems” are the basic policy of the CPC for resolving the Taiwan question and are the best way to achieve cross-strait reunification. To this end, the CPC is willing to engage in extensive, in-depth consultations with people from all parties, sectors and strata in Taiwan on issues concerning cross-strait relations and national reunification. Such consultations should be based on equal footing and be democratic, rational, pragmatic and based on mutual respect.
Consultations can be conducted in a phased approach and in a flexible manner with diverse forms. In the face of fundamental differences in social systems and ideologies, the “one country, two systems” approach has provided a solution, as seen in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions. Over the past 20 years since the reunification of Hong Kong and Macao, the system has worked well. In the future, it will continue to provide a more inclusive solution for Taiwan to have democracy within a win-win situation.
Despite ongoing geopolitical conflicts, peace and development remain the themes of the times. People aspire to security and progress. It is the wish of all Chinese people to properly resolve various internal issues, including the Taiwan question. In order to resolve cross-strait political confrontation, all parties or groups concerned are obliged to make the first step toward solving the problem, which is to sit down and discuss it calmly and peacefully. Beijing has always been the proactive party in striving for the peaceful resolution of political strife. In the future, it will stay the course and take more concrete steps towards that goal.
For the CPC, development is the top priority in governance. It is also the consensus and expectation of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. The 20th CPC National Congress Report points out that high-quality development is the primary task in the building of a modern socialist country in all respects. In the course of China’s modernization, peaceful development and integration of cross-strait relations will benefit all Chinese people. This also reflects the CPC’s philosophy that people on both sides are part of a single family, and that it’s willing to respect, care for and improve the well- being of Taiwan compatriots.
In the process of cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, economic, cultural and social exchanges are important dimensions, but political and military issues are not off-limits. As cross-strait economic and cultural exchanges grow closer, the foundation of trust deepens, setting the stage for frank discussions on more sensitive issues, such as a peace agreement to end political confrontation and mechanisms for military security through mutual trust.
The pandemic has disrupted in-person exchanges between the two sides in recent years, but improvement is in the offing. As pandemic measures relax, exchanges in various fields should resume as soon as possible. Only through continuous exchanges between parties and individuals can the two sides across the strait deepen their understanding, enhance mutual trust and resolve various issues in the process of national reunification and post-unification governance.
Anti-independence and reunification
A handful of pro-independence forces still seek to split the country. We must take measures to counter these separatist forces, with the ultimate goal of achieving national reunification and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
It is precisely because of the existence of pro-independence forces — backed by external elements —that the CPC will not commit to renouncing the use of force. It reserves the option of taking “all necessary measures” in the process of achieving national reunification. While finding a peaceful solution to the Taiwan question is a key mission of the CPC, political reality dictates that military preparations are equally important.
A strong people’s army is not solely for the resolution of the Taiwan question. Rather, it has a more vital mission: safeguarding national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. It is a strategic necessity for nation-building and provides strategic support for national rejuvenation. It can also make a greater contribution to world peace and development.
In recent years, comments from foreigners have deliberately amplified the possibility that Beijing might resort to national reunification by force, intentionally or unintentionally avoiding the unremitting efforts made by the CPC to promote peaceful development and integration across the Taiwan Strait. These narratives turn a blind eye to the basic policy of peaceful reunification and one country, two systems, which have been repeatedly stressed, with the hidden agenda to create a “Taiwan trap” the puts China in a dilemma — either to acquiesce to Taiwan pro-independence forces’ collusion with foreign entities, thus exposing the country to the danger of secession; or take decisive measures to defend its territorial integrity by force, which could entail the destruction of Taiwan, displacing its people and imperiling the whole country.
Escaping this trap will require the joint efforts of all Chinese people across the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan belongs to China, and resolving the question is a matter for the Chinese people. Foreign forces should have no place in it.