Friday 21st July, 2017
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Insights into 'One China Policy' and Taiwan diplomatic pretense with Nigeria

Insights into 'One China Policy' and Taiwan diplomatic pretense with Nigeria

Taiwan has been part of China since ancient times.
According to Cairo dec­laration in 1943, all the territories Japan had stolen from China including Taiwan shall be restored to China.
More important, in the Potsdam Declaration in 1945 which articu­lated the conditions of the surren­der of Japan, “reiterated the terms of Cairo Declaration”.
The UN Resolution 2758 in 1971 recognizes that representatives of the Government of the People’s Re­public of China are the only lawful representatives of China.
The one China principle is the precondition and political basis for China to establish and develop dip­lomatic relations with other coun­tries. It means there is but one Chi­na in the world.
Both the Mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same Chi­na. Adhering to the one China principle means refusal to devel­op any relations of official nature with Taiwan authorities, includ­ing any official exchange or con­tact or signing agreements having any sovereignty connotation or of official nature with Taiwan author­ities, and establishing bodies of of­ficial or diplomatic nature in each other’s place.
President Trump told President Xi Jinping of China that the United States would honor the “One Chi­na” policy, reversing his earlier ex­pressions of doubt about the long­time diplomatic understanding and removing a major source of tension between the United States and Chi­na since shortly after he was elected.
In a statement, the White House said Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi “dis­cussed numerous topics, and Pres­ident Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our One China policy.”
Nigeria’s commitment to one Chi­na policy
In 1971, at the signing and issu­ing of communique between the Governments of China and Nige­ria on establishing diplomatic re­lations, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clear­ly recognizes that there is only but one China in the world, namely that the PRC government is the sole le­gitimate government representing the whole of China.
In the joint communique be­tween the Governments of China and Nigeria in 2001, “Both sides expressed unflinching support for each other’s efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereign­ty and territorial integrity.
The Nigerian side reiterates the one China policy that there is but one China in the world, the Gov­ernment of the peoples of China is the sole legal government repre­senting the whole of China, and Tai­wan is an inalienable part of Chi­nese territory, and that Nigeria will only enter into private-sector-led trade and economic relations with Taiwan.
In the joint communique be­tween the Government of China and Nigeria in 2006, “the two sides pledged to support each on issues relating to sovereignty and territo­rial integrity.
The Nigerian side reiterates its adherence to the one China pol­icy and opposition to ‘Taiwan in­dependence’ in any form including ‘de jure Taiwan independence’ and to Taiwan’s participation in any in­ternational or regional organization whose membership applies only to sovereign states.
The Nigerian side also reiterated its position of not having official re­lations or contact with Taiwan and its support for all efforts made by the Chinese Government to realize national reunification.”
In the joint communique be­tween the Government of China and Nigeria in 2014, the Nigerian side reiterated its commitment to the one China policy.
The Origin of the Taiwan Issue in Nigeria
Regrettably, in 1990, the then Ni­gerian Minister of Trade and Tour­ism signed with Taiwan authorities an MOU on the establishment of the so- called ‘trade Mission of the ROC (Taiwan) in Nigeria” without the participation of Nigerian Min­istry of Foreign Affairs (hereinaf­ter referred as the “Taipei Trade Office).
The MOU should be ignored as it has inbuilt defects that nullify it. However, the “Taipei Trade Office” moved to the new capital city Abu­ja upon the approval of the Nigeri­an Government in 2001.
Since its establishment, the “Tai­pei Trade Office” in Nigeria have been using the designation of “Re­public of China” and “Taiwan” in correspondence and documents and using consular vehicle plate, which create “one China, one Tai­wan” or “two Chinas” in Nigeria.
It is only case in countries hav­ing established diplomatic relations with China in Africa, which seri­ously violates the one China com­mitment by Nigeria in communi­ques between the Governments of China and Nigeria.
The “Taipei Trade Office” in Ni­geria under the pretence of trade, yet in the name of “Republic of Chi­na” and Taiwan”, is engaged in sep­aratist activities including meeting with Nigerian Government officials and legislators and inviting them to visit Taiwan.
They even engage with diplomat­ic corps in Nigeria with the purpose to use Nigeria as a stronghold to in­filtrate into Western African coun­tries and undermine China-Nige­ria as well as China-Africa relations.
More ridiculously, the head of the agency even calls himself “Tai­wan Ambassador to Nigeria.
In 2016 alone, they deliberately organized and publicize some ac­tivities with Nigeria high-level of­ficials involved, which caused im­mediately damage to China-Nigeria relations and Nigeria’s internation­al credibility.
In April, 2016, the head of the trade office received the Bauchi State Governor Mohammed A. Abubakar and Sen. Umaru Dahiru Tambuwal in his residence in Abu­ja, in the name of “Taiwanese Am­bassador”.
In May, 2016, the head of the trade office met with the Nigerian First Lady Aisha Buhari and boast­ed about the meeting in the name of “Republic of China” and “Taiwan”.
In June, 2016, they sponsored a charity event in the name of “Tai­wan Ambassador to Nigeria”.
Before the event, they put up some billboards along the main road of Abuja showcasing the pic­tures of the so-called “Taiwan Am­bassador to Nigeria” together with the pictures of the Nigerian Vice President Professor Osinbanjo and Hon. Minister of Women Affairs & Social Development Alhassan with­out their knowledge or consent to attend.
All these actions are flagrant provocation to Nigeria’s consis­tent position on adherence to one China policy. In general diplomat­ic practice, only recognized group states can accredit diplomatic mis­sions and consular missions to each other. Under no circumstances is a constitutive province of a sovereign state is itself recognized.
The presence of the “Taipei Trade Office” in Nigeria, the manner it op­erates in Nigeria clearly lays bare that Taiwan was maneuvering to be an “independent and sovereign country” and was attempting to cre­ate the impression that the Govern­ment of Nigeria has recognized it as such.
Unfulfilled promises to resolve the Taiwan Issue by past Nige­ria’s administrations
Since the above-mentioned issue emerged, China has lodged serious representations with the Nigerian Government persistently. The Ni­gerian side has pledged to resolve this issue thoroughly several times.
In 1997, the then Nigerian Head of State Mr. Abacha pledged to re­solve the Taiwan issue during the visit of Chinese Premier Li Peng’s visit to Nigeria.
On May 17, 2004, President Obasnajo issued the directive to close down the operations of the “Trade Mission of the ROC (Tai­wan) in Nigeria”, while the Nigeri­an side promised again to remove this political barrier hindering the furtherance of Nigeria-China re­lations.
In April, 2006 just before the commencement of the state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Nigeria, President Obasanjo issued another directive to relocate the “Taipei Trade Office outside Abuja.
However, the Taipei Trade Of­fice” was re-open immediately after the Chinese President’s departure.
In 2007, President Yar’Adua promised to look into the Taiwan Issue with a view to resolving the issue when meeting Chinese Pres­ident Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G8 Summit in Germany.
In January, 2010, the One Chi­na Committee inside the Nigerian Ministry of issued of building trust, the international community had embraced one China and China is a member of the United Nations and we don’t want to leave any doubts on the issue.
Nigeria would adhere to it com­pletely and there is no ambiguity at all. Nigeria as a nation would do everything to realize the One China Policy as well as any effort that would promote the peace and wellbeing of the People’s Republic of China.”
The delay of the complete and comprehensive resolution
It has been almost one year since the state visit of President Buhari to China and two months since the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Nigeria.
Nevertheness, the “Taipei Trade Office” is still desperately trying to operate in Abuja as before, and even worse, proactively publicizing their events on the mainstream me­dia in the name of the “Trade Mis­sion of Taiwan” and recently invit­ed some members of the National Assembly to visit Taiwan.
The “Taipei Trade Office” claim that they are promoting trade but they are unable to make their sto­ry plausible as to why they refuse to relocate to Lagos, the largest commercial city, and try to linger in Abuja, the political center. They are lobbying very hard and playing tricks deliberately to make trouble, undermine the authority of the Ni­gerian Government and turn Ni­geria’s solemn promise into empty talk. Their delaying tactics should not have their way and the histo­ry of delay should not be repeated.
To keep China one, as impor­tant as to keep Nigeria one, is a task done. China’s resolve against “Tai­wan Independence” is not different from Nigeria’s hostility to separat­ist movements.
In this vein, the existence of the “Taipei Trade Office” in Abuja will not only continue to damage Nige­ria-China strategic partnership, but also pose a serious threat to Nige­ria’s national interest and security.
Joint Communique Between the people’s republic of china and the federal republic of Nigeria (2002) (Abuja, 15 April 2002)
At the invitation of President Obasanjo of the federal republic of Nigeria, President Jiang Zemin of the People’s Republic of China paid a state visit to Nigeria from 14 to 16 April, 2002.
During the visit the two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, in­cluding the furtherance of bilater­al relations and as well as regional and international issues of common interest.

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