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The common aspiration of the Chinese people

Source: Understanding China -- 70 Years of Progress and Development Updated: 2021-01-12

In March 1925, during his study in the United States, Wen Yiduo, a well-known Chinese poet, published a collection of poems, known as the "Songs of the Seven Sons". Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Weihaiwei, Guangzhou Bay (now Zhanjiang), Kowloon, and Luda (Lushun and Dalian), which were occupied by foreign powers at the time, were described in these poems as seven children taken away from their mother. "Do you know that 'Macao' is not my real name? I have been away from you for too long, Mother! They may have taken my body, but my heart is always with you..." Those touching words from one of the poems about Macao express the strong feelings and desires of the people to be free from colonial occupation and return to the embrace of their motherland.


Wen Yiduo, a pariotic poet (1899-1946) 

More than a century of foreign invasions, occupation, and oppression in modern times left an indelible impression on the Chinese people. At great cost, they had fought relentlessly under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and ultimately established a new republic, with complete reunification of the mainland. China thus set out on a great journey of reconstruction and development under the socialist system that it had chosen for itself. 

When the PRC was founded in 1949, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and the mainland were still in a state of separation for various historical reasons. However, blood is thicker than water. It has been the collective mission of the Chinese people to reunite with their brethren in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan so that our national sovereignty will be maintained and our territorial integrity protected. We are all part of the great journey toward national renewal, and we have made various efforts in furtherance of that goal. 

On January 1, 1979, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of the PRC published an open letter to the people in Taiwan calling for the Taiwanese authorities to accede to the times and to the aspirations of the people by ending the state of separation and reuniting with the mainland. This letter is well-known for its proposal for peaceful reunification, which marked a major change in policy toward Taiwan in the new era. 

To such ends, we have made positive efforts in different ways and through various channels. In November 1972, shortly after China's return to the United Nations, it pushed for the adoption by the United Nations of a resolution to remove Hong Kong and Macao from the list of colonial territories, which would confirm in international law China's sovereignty over the territories and prevent Hong Kong and Macao from becoming an international issue. 

The sincerity with which we approached the issue and the generous support we provided were widely recognized in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. With the interests of the entire Chinese nation in mind and with the utmost sincerity, we put forward principles and policies that proposed reconciliation and unity as one nation. This was done in the hope that sooner or later, all Chinese, wherever they may be, will come together as part of the great Chinese nation. We have also proposed ideas for a peaceful solution to the question of Taiwan, with several open letters published for the people in Taiwan in order to win their understanding and support. We have done as much as possible to ensure supplies and fresh water for Hong Kong and Macao. In the early years, when the economy of the mainland was going through difficult times, Zhou Enlai, the late Chinese Premier, instructed provinces on the mainland to do all they could, without exception, to guarantee supplies to Hong Kong and Macao." Since 1962, three express trains have been running non-stop with food supplies to Hong Kong, every day except for the first day of the Chinese New Year. According to incomplete statistics, such trains supplied most of the fresh products in the market in Hong Kong and almost 100% of pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck, goose, and other livestock and poultry products. Those express trains were therefore described by the people in Hong Kong and Macao as their "lifelines". 


Pigs being loaded on an express train bound for Hong Kong 

For many years, we had made efforts that brought Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan closer to the mainland, with increased communications and more favorable political conditions and public opinion on national reunification. We had explored various ways to find a solution to the question of Taiwan and created conditions for developing principles and policies for a peaceful reunification. However, due to changes in the domestic and international environments, the right opportunity for reunification has not yet presented itself, and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan remained separated from the mainland.

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