The late President Chiang Kung once told me that negotiating with the Chinese Communist Party is suicide
On June 30, 2017, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the handover of sovereignty over Hong Kong, Chinese Communist Party Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press conference, “Now that Hong Kong has returned to the embrace of the motherland for 20 years, the Sino-British Joint Declaration, as a historical document, no longer has any practical significance and is not binding on the Chinese central government’s administration of the HKSAR. The British side has no sovereignty, no power of governance and no supervisory power over Hong Kong after the reunification.” In other words, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Sino-British Joint Declaration is no longer valid. The British government immediately disputed the Chinese claim, with a British Foreign Office spokeswoman saying, “The Sino-British Joint Declaration is as valid now as it was when it was signed more than 30 years ago. It is a legally binding treaty registered with the United Nations and continues to be in force. As a co-signatory, Britain will closely monitor its implementation.” The Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed by Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Thatcher on December 19, 1984, and the two governments exchanged instruments of ratification and registered it with the UN Secretariat on May 27, 1985, when the Sino-British Joint Declaration entered into force.
On October 3, 1984, Deng Xiaoping said, “The contents of the Joint Declaration will certainly remain unchanged. Our central government and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China have always kept their word in the international arena, even in the turbulent times of the past. Faithfulness is a tradition of our nation, not just in our generation. This also reflects the poise of our ancient great nation, a great nation. When we say in the agreement that we will not change for fifty years, we will not change for fifty years. Our generation will not change, and the next generation will not change. So do not worry about change, can not change.” These words of Deng Xiaoping were included in black and white in the third volume of Deng Xiaoping’s Selected Writings. The Sino-British Joint Declaration is an international treaty ratified by China’s highest legislative body, the National People’s Congress, on April 10, 1985, and a tiny Foreign Ministry spokesman gave it up in one sentence? (The three Sino-American Joint Communiqués were never ratified by the legislatures of the two countries, and as historical documents, are they not binding in any way either?)
On January 10, 1982, Deng Xiaoping for the first Time clearly put forward the phrase “one country, two systems”: “Under the premise of national reunification, the main body of the country will adopt a socialist system, while Taiwan will adopt a capitalist system.” On June 26, 1983, Deng said that Taiwan could not have “full autonomy” and that “‘full autonomy’ means ‘two Chinas’, not one China. The systems can be different, but the only one representing China internationally is the People’s Republic of China.” Deng Xiaoping promised that “after the reunification of the motherland, the Taiwan Special Administrative Region can have its own independence and can implement a system different from that of the mainland. The judiciary will be independent, and the power of final adjudication will not have to go to Beijing. Taiwan could also have its own army, only it could not pose a threat to the mainland. The mainland would not send people to Taiwan, not only the military but also the administrative staff. Taiwan’s party, political and military systems would be run by Taiwan itself.”
Deng Xiaoping’s policy of “peaceful reunification and one country, two systems” was put into practice in Hong Kong, although it was first proposed for Taiwan, and on June 22, 1984, Deng Xiaoping explained the “one country, two systems” in a meeting with Hong Kong people: ” The main body of China must be socialist, but certain regions of the country are allowed to adopt a capitalist system, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.” He said, “It is the wish of the nation to achieve national reunification, and if it is not reunified in a hundred years, it will be reunified in a thousand years. How to solve this problem, I see only the implementation of ‘one country, two systems’.” On April 16, 1987, in a conversation with the drafters of the Hong Kong Basic Law, Deng Xiaoping admitted that China adheres to the socialist system and the four basic principles, which are written in the Constitution. But “one country, two systems” allows Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to practice the capitalist system, and he decided to do so “without a little bit of courage. Deng Xiaoping thought that he had fully taken care of the realities of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and that his mentality was a top-down gift that allowed Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to implement different systems, and that he could restrict, cancel or reinterpret the so-called “high degree of autonomy” at any Time in the name of sovereignty.
Chiang Ching-kuo was always very skeptical of Deng Xiaoping’s idea of “one country, two systems” and was firmly opposed to it. As early as October 1982, Chiang criticized “one country, two systems” to a reporter from Newsweek: the Chinese Communist Party did not keep its word, and it was unrealistic to expect the Chinese Communist Party to allow Taiwan to retain a separate social and economic system after reunification with the mainland. Chiang Ching-kuo said that it is naive to think that the CCP does not allow the people of the mainland to have freedom, but allows the people of Taiwan to have freedom; the people of the mainland cannot propose reforms to the CCP at any time, but allows the people of Taiwan to propose reforms in the future at any time, which is a fantasy.
On May 20, 1984, Chiang Ching-kuo told President Reagan’s special envoy Liu Yi-shi that the CCP “once put forward the argument of one country, two systems. It is impossible for two systems to exist in one country at the same time. The Chinese Communist Party is only using this to lure us, and we will not be fooled.” He also said, “The policy of our ROC government will not change. …… Our policy towards the CCP is not to yield and not to compromise, because yielding and compromising will lead to our destruction.”
On October 7, 1984, Chief of Staff Hao Bo-cun wrote in his diary that “the announcement of the Hong Kong agreement between the Chinese Communist Party and Britain was a big conspiracy, a big deception, and a big unification war. The Chinese Communist Party’s recovery of Hong Kong’s sovereignty and the maintenance of Hong Kong’s present social status serve two purposes: first, to unify the war against me, attempting to solve the so-called Taiwan problem on the Hong Kong model; second, to reassure the people of Hong Kong that it is in fact equivalent to the Tibetan agreement.” Hao reported to Chiang Ching-kuo that “whether the Chinese Communist Party keeps its promise to Hong Kong depends on whether the Republic of China continues to grow,” and Chiang agreed. I should be firm, strong and resolute, my success or failure, weapons should be strengthened, but the key is still the morale of the people, we should create a change that is beneficial to the free world.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China immediately issued a statement on the day of the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which not only reaffirmed Hong Kong as the inherent territory of the Republic of China, but also condemned Britain’s disregard for the will of Hong Kong people to maintain freedom and economic prosperity, and called on the international community to give Hong Kong people just support, while stating the importance the government of the Republic of China attaches to the Hong Kong issue and its concern for the freedom, welfare and security of Hong Kong people, and will take various measures to support our compatriots in Hong Kong We will take measures to support our compatriots in Hong Kong in their struggle for democracy and in maintaining freedom, stability and prosperity. On the same day, Executive Yuan President Yu Guohua also announced the government’s 11-point policy guideline to support Hong Kong compatriots. According to this program, in addition to providing consultation, services and assistance to Hong Kong compatriots returning to Taiwan, the government also promised to provide various facilities to Hong Kong compatriots who wish to return to Taiwan for business or settlement.
On January 29, 1985, Soong Mei-ling sent a secret message to Chiang Ching-kuo from the United States, suggesting that Chiang issue a unilateral solemn declaration in the name of the government of the Republic of China that the legitimate government in Taiwan was duty-bound to allow the British “trusteeship for thirty years” after 1997 in the interests of the people of Hong Kong, and emphasizing that during this thirty-year period During the trusteeship period, Britain “must strengthen the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and the elected representatives in the Executive Council to preside over the governing bodies of all levels of the Hong Kong government”. Soong Mei-ling pointed out that “if I allow a thirty-year trusteeship to counter the united war banditry, it would not be a loss of rights”. Chiang Ching-kuo replied that “your instructions are out of wisdom”, and that the Executive Yuan had “effectively studied the situation”. However, Chiang Ching-kuo probably thought that it was too late for the Republic of China to advocate allowing Britain to hold Hong Kong in trust for thirty years after the Sino-British Joint Declaration had been signed, so Song Mei-ling’s proposal was not implemented.
Throughout the 1980s, Chiang’s “three no’s” policy of “no contact, no negotiation, no compromise” was used to counter Deng Xiaoping’s “one country, two systems”, which was indeed passive. During the 1982-1984 Sino-British negotiations on Hong Kong, he should have done at least two things to win the hearts and minds of the people of Hong Kong: first, as suggested by Soong Mei-ling, he should have publicly announced that the Republic of China would allow Britain to hold Hong Kong in trust for 50 years after 1997; second, he should have announced that Taiwan would accept 200,000 Hong Kong people as investment migrants from 1984 to 1997. At that time, Taiwan’s population was 20 million and its economy was developing at a fast pace. If Chiang Ching-kuo could publicly announce these two policies to attract Hong Kong people to come to Taiwan to invest and immigrate, and take the initiative to counter Deng Xiaoping’s “one country, two systems”, it would do Taiwan more good than harm. Unfortunately, Chiang Ching-kuo was cautious in his diplomacy, defensive enough to protect Taiwan, but not enough to take the initiative.
In fact, Deng Xiaoping’s “one country, two systems” is not a concession to the people of Taiwan, but a unification of Chiang Ching-kuo and the Kuomintang, Deng Xiaoping has repeatedly called for talks between the two parties to implement a third cooperation, saying “If the two parties can work together to accomplish this, Chiang’s father and son will write a better history. Some.” He made it sound as if the two Chiang’s cared about how the Communist Party would write their biographies in the future. Deng’s implication was that as long as the KMT was willing to submit to the CCP and give up the signboard of the Republic of China, the CCP could guarantee that the KMT’s interests in Taiwan would not be infringed upon. On the other hand, if the KMT refused “one country, two systems”, then the local forces in Taiwan would rise up, and in the end, the KMT would not be able to keep the signboard of the Republic of China nor its own privileges. During the Sino-British negotiations in Hong Kong, Deng also asked Mrs. Thatcher to send a message to Regan to convince Chiang Ching-kuo to accept “one country, two systems”. “In the past few years, the Chinese Communist Party has tried to influence the United States in the hope that it would induce Mr. President to negotiate with Deng Xiaoping, and even asked British Prime Minister Lady Thatcher to be a lobbyist to persuade Regan to put pressure on the Republic of China, but Regan refused because he believed that the matter should be left to the Chinese.”
If Chiang Ching-kuo had been greedy for one-party selfishness, he could have accepted “one country, two systems” under the guise of “national righteousness” and achieved the third cooperation between the Communist Party and China. However, Chiang did not accept Deng Xiaoping’s united front and resolutely rejected “one country, two systems”. From Chiang Ching-kuo’s point of view, “one country, two systems” had three essential flaws: 1. If “one country” is good, why “two systems”? “One country” and “two systems” are inherently conflicting and irreconcilable, and “one country” always takes precedence over “two systems. “2. Transitional in time, not eternal. It will eventually converge to “one country, one system”, i.e. a socialist system under the one-party dictatorship of the Communist Party of China. 3. Oppressive in implementation, the “two systems” are not equal. The main body is the People’s Republic of China. The purpose is to unify Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau under the People’s Republic of China. On December 9, 1985, Chiang Ching-kuo spoke with David Ting, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). He mentioned that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew “talked with Deng Xiaoping in Beiping about Deng and my former classmates in Moscow, and Deng asked Lee if he wanted to go to Taipei. He asked Lee if he was going to Taipei, and if so, to say hello to me for him. I had no reaction to this. Our policy of not engaging with the CCP is unchanged. We will never talk with the CCP based on our experience of dealing with it in Chinese history. The late President Chiang Kung once told me that negotiating with the CCP is suicide, so we will not change no matter how much the CCP may coerce and entice us.”
On the contrary, Chiang Ching-kuo vigorously pushed for the Taiwanization of the ROC, setting the ROC on the road of no return to democratization and localization. Although Chiang Ching-kuo opposed both “one country, two systems” and Taiwan independence, he was not unaware that once the Republic of China was truly democratized and localized, and “one country, two systems” was blocked, substantive Taiwan independence would become the inevitable trend. But for Chiang Ching-kuo, he would rather take the risk of Taiwan independence than unification with the Chinese Communist Party. Chiang Ching-kuo’s promotion of the Taiwanization of the Republic of China deprived the “one country, two systems” of its focus: the latter-day KMT leaders might be willing to become the chief executive of Taiwan Province of the People’s Republic of China in order to maintain their privileges, but the free and democratic people of Taiwan were never willing to accept an autocratic emperor.
In October 1986, Chiang Ching-kuo emphasized at the KMT’s Central Committee meeting that the situation facing the KMT today was that “the times are changing, the environment is changing, and so are the trends”, and that the KMT must “adapt to changes”. The core of the “Jingguo line” is “Anti-Communist, pro-US, and pro-Taiwan”. Lee Teng-hui once pointed out that in 1986, at the third plenary session of the 12th Central Committee of the Chinese Nationalist Party, Chiang Ching-kuo had formally ended the Great China line of anti-attacking the mainland and established the line of Taiwan as the main body of innovation and protection of Taiwan. On the contrary, thirty years later, if the KMT led by Wu Dunyi wants to continue the “Jingguo line”, it should insist on the sovereign independence of the Republic of China and explicitly oppose “one country, two systems”.