Retired Dutch diplomat Gerrit van der Wees has said that former Chinese premier and chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Mao Zedong, had refuted China’s claims over Taiwan. Pointing out the historical inconsistencies of China’s position on Taiwan’s status over time, Wees said that Mao Zedong, in 1937, reportedly told American journalist Edgar Snow, “We will extend them (the Koreans) our enthusiastic help in their struggle for independence. The same thing applies for Taiwan.”

According to Van der Wees.,the Chinese Communist Party of the 1920s held the opposite view on Taiwan as compared to that of today’s CCP, recognizing the people of Taiwan as a distinct “nation” or “nationality.” He also added that the Chinese communist leaders described the anti-colonial resistance by the Taiwanese against imperial Japan as a “national liberation movement” separate from the Chinese revolution.

Writing for The Diplomat, Van der Wees said the CCP’s position that Taiwan is “an inalienable part of China” is problematic for two reasons. He wrote that the first treason is that the claim lacks a historical basis, and secondly, it is inconsistent since it is quite a recent position for the CCP to hold.