Image: Hong Kong Free PressImage: Hong Kong Free Press

Much was spoken about ‘One China Policy’. What does that mean?

Apparently on Sunday, according to Chinese state media, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned any attempt to split China would result in “bodies smashes and bones ground to powder’. The comments came as Hong Kong protests completed four months. The state media said his comments were delivered from Nepal – one which we were unaware of.

If we remember, the day before Sunday, much was spoken about ‘One China Policy’ – our President Bidhya Bhandari said “she respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never allow any anti-China force to engage in anti-China activities in Nepal.” President Xi in turn thanked Bidhya Bhandari for the statement, and said China will ‘always support Nepal in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity’.

‘One China Policy’ basically means there is only one sovereign state under the name China, as opposed to the idea that there are two states, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan, whose official name is the Republic of China (ROC). Beijing has hardened its stance with democratic Taipei since President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016, as her government refuses to acknowledge that Taiwan is part of “one China”. Taiwan has ruled itself since the end of a civil war in 1949, but China views the island as its territory and has vowed to seize it — by force if necessary.

However, besides the PRC – ROC issue, one-China policy also has larger political implications, the Tibetans protesting in Kathmandu, Hong Kong protests to name a few.

Tibetan Protests: Nepal’s pro-communist government has been known to suppress any Tibetan movement within Nepal – from using force to disperse protesters, to banning plays, to not allowing a public celebration of Dalai Lama’s birthday.

Just before Xi’s arrival, there were also speculations that the two governments were planning to sign an ‘extradition treaty’ wherein any individual the Chinese government sees as a threat including refugees, activists, and journalists would be sent to China to face unfair trials.

A similar bill was proposed in Hong Kong too – something which the Hong Kong residents protested against. The bill, although scrapped, has since morphed into a larger movement for democracy and police accountability.

Therefore came President Xi’s statement (according to China’s Foreign Ministry issued from Nepal):

“Anyone who attempts to split any region from China will perish, with their bodies smashed and bones ground to powder”.

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