Reaffirming Nigeria’s “One China Policy”

Whatever its internal differences, serious countries build consensus around its international relations, articulated in foreign policy framework as such, not guarantees the respectability of the country but ensures that international partners view her institutions as both stable, credible and reliable.

Nigeria’s One China Policy, which will be explained in detail below is a key enduring line in the country foreign policy since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1971. The “One China” Nigeria Policy holds that the Taiwan region is inalienable part of China and the Taiwan question , a left-over of Chinese history, especially after its civil war in the 1940’s, when the Communist Party of China in a patriotic coalition of other parties defeated the then ruling Kuomintang or Nationalist Party (KMT), whose top military and political leaders fled across the straits between the mainland and island of Taiwan region of China.

Propped by the United States and other western powers, the Nationalist party held on to the illusion of been the legitimate government of all Chinese people, and held the seat in the United Nations until the iconic resolution 2758, which expelled once and for all, the representatives of Chang Kai Sheik and readmitted the government of the Peoples of Republic of the China as the sole and legitimate government of all Chinese people.

Nigeria was among the 26 African countries who voted for the historic resolution, which became a vital cornerstone of Nigeria-China diplomatic cooperation established earlier on the February, 1971, few months before the iconic UN resolution in October of the same year.

An alleged parliamentary group in the House of Representative which describes itself as Nigeria-Taiwan parliamentary friendship group has recently circulated an invitation, notifying of its inauguration, thereby not only brazenly interfering in China’s internal affairs but flagrantly undermining the integrity of Nigeria’s unambiguous and explicit “One China” foreign policy. Such affront to a historical key pillar of Nigeria’s foreign relations also dastardly stuck a knife at One Nigeria’s viable diplomatic cooperations.

The shockwave of the insensitive and brazen behavior to the friendly Chinese people, would be exactly the same here, should any such misguided element of Chinese parliament attempt to establish “A China-Biafra, or China-Yoruba Nation or even China-Boko Haram parliamentary group.

In solving their national question as it relates to the Taiwan region, the two sides of the straits have established a “consensus” in 1992, which holds that the two sides of the straits belong to one and the same China and can thereby actively working on a formula for reunion.

As we have our few hot heads, who will settle at nothing except disintegration, the Taiwan separatist hot heads urged on, by the U.S make a case for such extremity. The Taipei Trade Office in Nigeria since 1991 is not a diplomatic mission but a trade promotion center, just as any Nigeria sub-national entity may choose to open a trade promotion center anywhere in the world.

Nigeria National parliament is a key national State institution and cannot possibly contradict Nigeria’s vital foreign policy position.
As the Taipei Trade Office currently in Lagos, seemed desperate to engage in activities, inconsistent with its status a trade promotion center. the federal government should consider to repudiate and abrogate 1991 trade memorandum with the Taiwan region of China, and expel immediately Trade representatives and its staff, before it does much damage to the integrity of Nigeria’s One China Policy.

In early 2017, the federal government 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 then, 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 asserted the One – China Policy is at the core of strategic partnership between the two countries and further stated that “the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognises 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 which was redesignated Taipei Trade office to immediately relocate to the Nigeria’s commercial capital, as the continued stay of the trade office in the Nigeria’s political capital has been used for dubious political maneuverings and activities inconsistent with its status of 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 and said that it “seriously object and condemns the unreasonable actions by the Nigeria’s government”.

Chinese government said then 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 provocative visits of the former U.S House Speaker, Ms. Nancy Pelosi in 2022, the “One China Principle”, according to the white paper of the Chinese government released in 2022 “represents the Universal Consensus of the International community and is consistent with basic norms of international relations.

Most countries in the world, including the United States have established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China on the basis of “One China Principle”.

Expantiating 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 meddling 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 the relations 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.

With the small clique of Taiwan separatist forces intensifying its provocation with active connivance of Washington, Nigeria’s State Institutions should stay clear from Washington’s perennial obsession to contain China through wanton interference in her internal affairs.

Onunaiju is research director of Abuja based Think-Tank.