Sixty years ago to the day, Taiwan was returned to China by Japan after half a century of colonial rule. Since then, October 25 has been a day of celebration for the whole Chinese nation.
Chinese people across the Taiwan Straits are staging various events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Taiwan's return. As one of the major national events to commemorate the victory of China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), a grand rally is to be held in Beijing today to mark the return of Taiwan's Chinese identity.
At a commemoration event in Taipei on Saturday, Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou stressed that the recovery of Taiwan has fully demonstrated the close ties between Taiwan and the mainland and Taiwan people have never forgotten their identity as Chinese descendants.
All of the commemorative activities are of both historic and practical significance, given the secessionist forces' intensified push for "Taiwan independence."
In stark contrast, Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party administration has kept silent during these historic times, indicating their deep-rooted pro-independence mentality. Some diehard secessionist members have even taken advantage of the event to talk about the so-called "undecided status" of the island to justify their attempt to make Taiwan secede from China.
But historical facts speak louder and have indisputably proved Taiwan's status as an inalienable part of China.
In 1894, Japan launched a war of aggression against China and the next year, the Qing (1644-1911) government was forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Shimonoseki, ceding Taiwan to Japan. Since then, Taiwan compatriots, in co-operation with the mainland people, have never stopped their fight against Japan's brutal colonial rule.
After China's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression broke out in 1937, Taiwan people actively joined efforts with their mainland compatriots to battle Japanese invaders. Their devotion and sacrifice contributed to victory in the war in 1945, which saw the defeat of Japanese invasion troops and the end of Japanese rule over Taiwan. The two historic events marked the first success of the Chinese nation in their fight against foreign invasion since 1840 as well as a turning point in modern Chinese history.
On October 25, 1945, the ceremony accepting Japan's surrender in Taiwan Province in the Chinese theatre of war was held in Taipei. On the occasion, the chief officer accepting the surrender on behalf of the Chinese Government declared that from that day, Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago was once again incorporated formally into the territory of China and that the land, people and administration had been placed under the sovereignty of China.
These undeniable facts show that the fate of Taiwan is closely connected to that of the motherland. The sufferings of Taiwan and Taiwan compatriots were just part of the humiliation and pain suffered by the whole Chinese nation. Only through unity and co-operation among people across the Straits can the Chinese people safeguard their well-being and the sovereign integrity of their country.
As a question left over from China's civil war in the late 1940s, the two sides of the Straits are yet to be reunified. But the fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China remains unchanged.
While recalling history, people across the Straits should stay alert to secessionist schemes to pursue de jure independence for the island through a "constitutional re-engineering project." Just as they did 60 years ago, they should again join hands to fight secessionist forces and safeguard cross-Straits peace and stability.
(China Daily October 25, 2005)