August 24, 1945
United Nations Review
Japan has been defeated and is surrendering. The forces of violent aggression have been completely crushed by the concerted efforts of the United Nations. At the end of the First World War Dr. Sun Yat-sen said that nations working together for the good of all would certainly succeed while individuals or nations working for their own selfish ends would inevitably fail. The truth embodied in Dr. Sun's frank, sincere words has been abundantly confirmed by the recent war with its even greater sacrifices.
At this great turning point in history, the National Government should make clear to the people of China and of the whole world the main objectives in its policy of realizing national independence and completing the National Revolution. We shall then be able to co-operate more wholeheartedly and fulfill our mission more effectively. We fervently hope that the bitter lessons of this war will not be quickly forgotten, and that security in China and peace in the world may be permanently established. With this thought in mind I today make the following statement.
The aim of our National Revolution is two-fold. In our relations with other nations we seek national independence and freedom. Within the nation we seek equality for all racial groups. For fifty years we faced the ever-growing menace of Japanese aggression; national armed resistance began when we had no other alternative. Therefore the main emphasis of our national revolutionary movement was upon consolidating the strength of all our racial groups. We knew that we must unite in resisting foreign aggression if we were to attain national independence and freedom.
We had three most important goals and the attainment of these constituted our most urgent task. First, we had to regain our sovereign rights in the Northeastern Provinces and re-establish territorial and administrative integrity there. Second, we had to recover Formosa and the Pescadores Islands. Third, we had to restore to Korea her independence and freedom. Should Korea not be given freedom, Formosa not be allowed to return to its mother country, and the territorial and administrative integrity of the Northeastern Provinces not be restored, all talk of national independence and freedom would be useless and the objectives of our armed resistance could not be achieved. These objectives follow the policies handed down to us by Dr. Sun Yat-sen-they have been the leading aims in our armed resistance against Japan, which has meant for us the loss of millions of lives. During the war we had to unite all the racial groups within the nation and strive together to complete our three-fold task. Only if this is done can we expect our country to be independent and make secure the political equality of all the racial groups.
Japanese imperialism has been defeated and Japan is suing for peace. Formosa and the Pescadores are to be returned to China. The restoration of our sovereign rights and of territorial and administrative integrity in the Northeastern Provinces is assured. Korea will in the not distant future be liberated and made free. The foundation of our national independence is firmly laid. We may say that the international aspect of our Principle of Nationalism is approaching completion. Therefore, we must formulate definite policies and take positive action to realize the domestic phase of the same principle, that is, ensure equality for all the racial groups within the nation and thus fulfill the entire program of our National Revolution. We must also ensure the permanency of the victorious peace which we have won at the sacrifice of countless lives and enormous losses in property.
Upon the basis of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's teachings, I shall now state, as a representative of the Kuomintang, our policy towards carrying out the Principle of Nationalism and safeguarding world peace and national security. I shall first take up the racial questions in Outer Mongolia and Tibet. Outer Mongolia and Tibet both have a long history. The racial groups in these two areas have always lived by themselves and are totally different from the racial groups inhabiting the border provinces which mix freely with other groups.
Following the Kuomintang reorganization in 1924, Outer Mongolia sent representatives to extend greetings and felicitations to our Party. Dr. Sun Yat-sen was at that time already treating them as members of a friendly neighboring country and as honored guests. Such facts are recorded in Dr. Sun's teachings and are widely known. We have never regarded the people of Outer Mongolia as colonials or oppressed them as the Peking government did. Ever since the inauguration of the National Government we have maintained friendly relations not only with the Outer Mongolians but also with the Tibetans. Our people should realize that if we ignore the aspirations of these racial groups for freedom and restrain their urge for independence and self-government, it will not only be contrary to the spirit of our National Revolution but will also tend to increase friction between the racial groups and jeopardize our entire program of national reconstruction. This in turn will adversely affect world peace and security.
The racial group in Outer Mongolia had, in effect, declared its independence from the mother country as early as 1922 when the Peking government was in existence. That was almost a quarter of a century ago. The world is undergoing rapid changes and this is a propitious time for renewing old friendships. Therefore, we should, in accordance with our revolutionary principles and the Kuomintang's consistent policy, recognize, with bold determination and through legal procedure, the independence of Outer Mongolia and establish friendly relations with it. We must seek a satisfactory solution of this question. If we fail, happy relations between China and Mongolia will be impossible and not only our own domestic tranquillity but also the peace of the world will be seriously jeopardized.
I must here point out three fundamental points in the realization of our Principle of Nationalism. First, the Chinese Government and people should resolve with noble, sincere and firm determination never to imitate the way of Japan toward Korea. We should honestly aid all racial groups which have given evidence of their capacity for self-government and have shown a spirit of independence. We should help them achieve national independence through self-determination. We must take the opposite road from the Japanese imperialists and lay the foundation for national self-determination, freedom, and equality on the Asiatic Continent in the bright light of total victory. For fifty years, the National Revolution of the Kuomintang-overthrowing the Manchu government and resisting Japan-has not only been a movement for China's own freedom and equality, but also for the liberation and independence of Korea. From today, we shall, in this same spirit and together with all Allied nations concerned, fully respect the principle of Korean independence and equality and the position that Korea will soon attain.
Second, if frontier racial groups situated in regions outside the provinces have the capacity for self-government and a strong determination to attain independence, and are politically and economically ready for both, our Government should, in a friendly spirit, voluntarily help them to realize their freedom and forever treat them as brotherly nations, and as equals of China we should entertain no ill will or prejudices against them because of their choice to leave the mother country.
Our frontier racial groups should, in a friendly spirit and through legal channels, make known their wishes to the Government of their mother country. In this way, they may be able to realize their aspirations. They should not defy the mother country and stir up mutual hatred.
Third, we should accord the large and small racial groups inside the provinces legal and political equality, and unhindered economic and religious freedom, so that a warm community spirit and friendly collaboration may develop among all the groups.
As regards the political status of Tibet, the Sixth National Kuomintang Congress decided to grant it a very high degree of autonomy, to aid its political advancement and to improve the living conditions of the Tibetans I solemnly declare that if the Tibetans should at this time express a wish for self-government, our Government would, in conformity with our sincere tradition, accord it a very high degree of autonomy. If in the future they fulfill the economic requirement for independence, the National Government will, as in the case of Outer Mongolia, help them to gain that status. But Tibet must give proof that it can consolidate its independent position and protect its continuity so as not to become another Korea.
Finding a solution for the racial problems of Outer Mongolia and Tibet is a very great task of our National Revolution. It will be a touchstone of the success of our Principle of Nationalism. We should be ready to assume responsibility for a solution. I hope that all the Chinese people, in accordance with our revolutionary principles and spirit of national independence, assist the Government in finding an answer to these questions. For world peace and security as well as for the solidarity and reconstruction of our own nation, we must deal with the world's racial questions in conformity with the spirit of the Atlantic Charter and the Three Principles of the People.
Inasmuch as several problems in connection with our southwestern frontiers are also intimately related with future world peace and security, I should like to state here China's hopes.
First, China has had close relations historically with the people of Burma. During the war, China twice sent her troops to Burma to fight the enemy. The direct and indirect casualties sustained by our expeditionary forces in the Burma campaigns amounted to more than 200,000. This does not include the incalculable losses suffered by the Chinese people living in Burma. But, respecting fully the rights of our allies and abiding faithfully by international commitments, our troops were immediately withdrawn upon the completion of our mission on the Burma front. It was clearly our duty as a member of the United Nations. We had no designs on Burma or demands to make, but it is our hope that our ally will take concrete steps to raise the political position of the Burmese people and facilitate the return of overseas Chinese to Burma to resume business there.
Second, I mention the Thais. China was the first country to feel the adverse effects of Thailand's participation in the war. It was for this reason that Thailand was at first included in the China Theater. Now Thailand has been assigned to the Southeast Asia Theater. China has taken no exception to that decision. We have known all along that Thailand's declaration of war on the United Nations was not a free act, but was the result of Japanese pressure. With the war now over, we hope that Thailand will regain her original status of independence and equality. We particularly hope that she will quickly resume normal and friendly relations with China.
Third, I come to the Indo-Chinese. During the war China suffered heavy losses in life and property as a result of Indo-China's inability to defend her own sovereignty and because she served as a base of Japanese aggression on China. But today, in spite of the agreement reached among the Allies that China should dispatch troops to accept the surrender of Japanese troops in Indo-China north of 16 degrees latitude, we have no territorial design on Indo-China. Our hope is that Indo-China will be autonomous and eventually become independent in accordance with the provisions of the Atlantic Charter
Finally, I should like to say a few words about the Hongkong question Hongkong and the neighboring province of Kwangtung face common security problems. Hongkong was assigned to the China Theater following the outbreak of the Pacific War. China will not use the occasion of Japanese unconditional surrender as a pretext for disregarding international agreements and infringing upon the rights of our allies. We will not take advantage of this opportunity to dispatch troops to take over Hongkong nor will we provoke misunderstanding among our allies. I wish to state here that the present status is regulated by a treaty signed by China and Great Britain. Changes in the future will be introduced only through friendly negotiations between the two countries. Our foreign policy is to honor treaties, rely upon law and seek rational readjustments when the requirements of time and actual conditions demand such readjustments. Now that all the leased territories and settlements in China have been one after another returned to China, the Leased Territory of Kowloon should not remain an exception. But China will settle this last issue through diplomatic talks between the two countries.
The world war that has just ended was an unprecedented conflict in human history. All the United Nations hope that this horrible war will be the last war. China has fought the longest and suffered the most. Our hope for peace is therefore the most ardent. Any measure that will strengthen our national unity and promote international peace will receive our strongest support.
In collaboration with our allies, we shall strive to bring about friendly relations between all free and independent nations, ensure the continuance of peace and prevent the re-emergence of power politics. We should see to it particularly that the peoples of the world do not again suffer from inequality, the want of freedom, scarcity and fear. If we keep this in mind, we shall see how supremely important it is that the principles of racial equality and national independence be everywhere realized. The National Government, guided by its own vital principles and its consistent revolutionary policy, will complete the unfinished phase of the Principle of Nationalism as peace dawns upon the world. This is one of our fondest hopes and I am sure our allies will understand World peace will thus be guaranteed and our national security be made certain. Let our people with one heart and one mind strive toward this goal. National revival and reconstruction will then become a living reality and the millions of our officers and soldiers and people who gave their lives in eight years of war will rest in peace knowing that they have not sacrificed in vain, and the truth of Dr. Sun s words pronounced after the First World War will be fully verified.