In early 2017, the federal government of Nigeria took a definitive stand in response to the Taiwan question of the People’s Republic of China and reaffirmed her long standing “One China policy” which leaves no ambiguity that there is only but One China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. Speaking at a joint press conference in Abuja then with the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said Nigeria would take all necessary measures to maintain the integrity of its “One China Policy”.
A joint statement issued after the press conference has asserted the One – China Policy is at the core of strategic partnership between the two countries. In the statement, it was stated that “the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes that there is only One China in the world, that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory,” and added the governments of China and Nigeria have mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Earlier the Nigeria’s government has directed that the Taiwan trade office in Abuja then, should immediately relocate to the Nigeria’s commercial capital, as the continued stay of the trade office in the Nigeria’s political capital. Abuja has been used for petty political maneuverings and promote activities inconsistent with its status as strict trade office. The Nigerian government took the action of directing the trade office to relocate to Nigeria’s business and commercial hub, so as to leave no doubt about her strict and unequivocal “One China Policy”. As is notorious to the insurgent separatist clique in Taiwan, it’s so called Ministry of Foreign affairs issued a rude rebuttal to Nigeria’s government, s firm position said that it “seriously object and condemns the unreasonable actions by the Nigeria’s government”.
Chinese government said that it “affirms and greatly appreciates Nigeria’s support for the “One China Principle” and stated further “this thoroughly resolves an issue left over from history that influenced mutual political trust between China and Nigeria, and eliminates a political obstacle that interfered with the healthy development of bilateral relations”.
Nigeria’s definitive stance is an integral part of global consensus, clearly affirmed by the iconic United Nations (UN) resolution 2758 mainstreamed to the core of international law, convention and standard practice. As a key member of the international community and regional power house, Nigeria’s principled measures to restore the integrity of her “One China Policy” aligns with the fundamental principle of state to state relations, in which a demonstration of unassailable sensitivity to each other’s core concerns is a standard norm.
Despite the recent provocative visits of the U.S House Speaker, Ms Nancy Pelosi and other U. S legislators in tow, the “One China Principle”, according to the white paper of the Chinese government released recently “represents the Universal Consensus of the International community and is consistent with basic norms of international relations. To date, 181 countries including the United States have established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China on the basis of “One China Principle”. Expanding further, the white paper made reference to the China – U.S joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations, published in December 1978, which among other things stated “the government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only but One China and Taiwan is part of China”.
It further states; “The United States of America recognizes the government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan”.
The unambiguous framework of the Taiwan question as China’s internal affairs leaves no room for equivocations and meddlings without undermining the critical pillars of the contemporary international system.
The critical component of Nigeria – China Strategic relations resting squarely for its development and advancement on the core principle of mutual respect for each core national concerns has cemented their mutual trust, political understanding and cooperation, opening fresh vistas in the growth and expansion of co operations in other important fields as trade, investment, aid and other broad areas. Nigeria’s demonstration of clear sensitivity to China’s core national concerns especially on the matter of the Taiwan question has had clear effects on China – Africa cooperation, pointing clearly to the exemplary nature of China – Africa cooperation as a model of International partnership.
Despite, the desperate behaviors of some certain cliques in the western quarters to play the Taiwan card to provoke and contain China, the consensus in the global community on the Taiwan question as China’s internal affairs renders such reckless behaviors as playing the Taiwan card, to doom.
Onunaiju writes from Utako, Abuja.