One-China Principle International Law

Beijing, 25 December 2000

In a statement issued upon the conclusion of his visit to China, the President of the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.), Prof. Dr. Hans Koechler, welcomed the declaration in support of the one-China principle adopted yesterday by the participants of a popular meeting in Taipei. The President of the I.P.O. stated that, in terms of international legality, Taiwan is an integral part of China. He referred to the historical fact that the separation of Taiwan from mainland China in 1895 occurred as a result of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. This treaty was imposed upon China under pressure; however, Japan's colonial and imperialist policy could not be considered as basis of international legitimacy for the separation of Taiwan from China. The President of the I.P.O. explained that this historical injustice has been corrected following the Potsdam Proclamation of 26 July 1945 by China, the United States and the United Kingdom in the treaty outlining the details of Japan's surrender on 15 August 1945. On 25 October 1945, Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago returned to Chinese sovereignty.

Prof. Koechler welcomed the proposals by the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits made in 1992 and stated that the separation of territories from mainland China was the result of colonialist interference which never can create legitimacy in terms of international law. He referred to the successful reintegration of Hong Kong and Macao under Chinese jurisdiction. The restoration of the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China over these territories constitutes an example for China's further reunification process; the "one country, two systems" policy proved to be a great success and may also constitute the framework for the reintegration of Taiwan, Prof. Koechler explained. He further referred to the legal recognition of the one-China principle by the vast majority of United Nations member states. He expressed the hope that after the peaceful return of Hong Kong and Macao under Chinese sovereignty the issue of Taiwan will be settled in the same peaceful way, based on international legality and on the recognition of the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China over all territories of China.

The International Progress Organization is a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations. It is based in Vienna (Austria). Since the establishment of the organization in 1972, the I.P.O. has officially recognized the legal position according to which there is only one China and the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government of China.

Prof. Koechler visited Beijing for a meeting at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. He discussed his research paper on basic issues of contemporary international law with the researchers of the Institute. The meeting was presided by the Vice-President of the Institute, Professor Song Baoxian. Possibilities of co-operation between the two institutions were discussed.