The One-China Policy refers to the policy or view that there is only one state called “China” despite the existence of two governments that claim to be “China”.

  • This means any countries that have or want diplomatic relations with China must break off official relations with Taiwan, or vice versa
  • This policy is strongly enforced in the United Nations which led to the Republic of China’s expulsion and the transferring of the permanent seat to the People’ Republic of China.
  • The US acknowledges China’s point of view on this policy


The One China policy is also different from the One China Principle, which is the principle that insists both Taiwan and China are inalienable parts of a single China.

  • In 1992, the two sides came together and met to define what “One China” meant on both sides, the outcome of the meeting is known as the 1992 Consensus.
  • Both countries had different opinions on.
  • Each party left with their own definition of what “One China” mean which was the following:
    • “Both sides of the Taiwan Strait agree that there is only one China. However, the two sides of the Strait have different opinions as to the meaning of ‘one China.’ To Peking, ‘one China’ means the ‘People’s Republic of China (PRC),’ with Taiwan to become a ‘Special Administration Region‘ after unification. Taipei, on the other hand, considers ‘one China’ to mean the Republic of China (ROC), founded in 1911 and with de jure sovereignty over all of China. The ROC, however, currently has jurisdiction only over Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu. Taiwan is part of China, and the Chinese mainland is part of China as well.” (Kan, Shirley A. China/Taiwan: Evolution of the¿ One China¿ Policy–Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei. DIANE Publishing, 2011.)
  • What each government claims as their territory:

What is the difference between the One China Principle and the One China Policy?

  • The One China Policy refers to the sole recognition of one China whether it be the PRC or the ROC
  • The One China Principle refers to the 1992 Consensus talk where each side has their own interpretation of what One China means

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