As spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Israel, I am happy to see the Israeli media’s growing interest in China. And Times of Israel, as a very popular news outlet, has been publishing more and more reports and commentary on China. Yet it is also true that due to lack of understanding, there are quite a few mistakes in some of the reports. Recently, I noticed a blog post about Taiwan that is quite misleading, as it includes many mistakes on some basic facts, which I would like to clarify:
First, there is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing all of China. A hundred and seventy five countries, including Israel, that have diplomatic relations with China accept and recognize the One China principle.
Second, as early as 230 A.D., China began to develop the island of Taiwan. Since the year 1335, China has had effective administration in Taiwan. In the early seventeenth century, some European colonists briefly took control of Taiwan while China was suffering from wars linked to dynastic changes, but Taiwan was soon taken back to China. At the end of the nineteenth century, China lost a war against the Japanese Imperialist invasion and had to cede Taiwan to Japan. In 1945, China won the Second World War, and took Taiwan back from Japan. In 1949, the People’s Republic of China was founded after China’s civil war, and the defeated Nationalist regime fled to Taiwan. From then on, the historical status of the Republic of China ended.
Finally, since 1949, the People’s Republic of China has been the only lawful representative of China in the international community. It has clear sovereignty over all of China, including Taiwan. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv, as its very name implies, is a non-governmental organization that can only function in economic and cultural affairs. It has absolutely no right to carry out diplomatic activities. Needless to say, its staff are not diplomats, let alone can anyone be considered an “ambassador.”
Recent years have witnessed the speedy development of relations between China and Israel, delivering benefits to both peoples. This is the result of joint efforts from the governments and various sectors of both sides. The Chinese embassy in Israel attaches great importance to the role of the media in enhancing the mutual understanding of both peoples. Since objectivity and truth telling are the fundamental values of responsible media, I hope that the above clarifications may help readers better understand the Taiwan issue.
Councillor Fu Lihua is the Chinese embassy spokesperson in Israel.