National Unification Council

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This article is about a defunct Taiwanese agency. For South Korean constitutional agency, see National Unification Advisory Council.
National Unification Council
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

The National Unification Council, established in February 1990,[1] was a governmental agency of the Republic of China on Taiwan which is now defunct but whose formal aim was to promote reintegration of mainland China into the Republic of China.

In February 1991, the council drafted the Guidelines for National Unification, which outlined a three-phase approach for Chinese unification.[1] The Guidelines called for Beijing to democratize and become more developed as the precondition for serious talks about steps toward eventual integration.[1]

The Council was suspended in early 2006, with President Chen Shui-bian remarking:[2]

“The National Unification Council will cease to function. No budget will be ear-marked for it and its personnel must return to their original posts...The National Unification Guidelines will cease to apply. In accordance with procedures, this decision will be transmitted to the Executive Yuan for notice.”

Chen had previously called for the NUC to be “abolished” but later toned this down to "cease to function". The government was ambiguous on whether “cease to function” was the same as “abolish”.

There have been calls for President Ma Ying-jeou to reinstate the National Unification Council, with Taiwan newspaper The China Post remarking in a commentary:[3]

The best and easiest way to show his sincerity is to reinstate the National Unification Council made to cease to function by President Chen. Or to sign a peace accord with Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.


The National Unification Council held 14 meetings from its founding to April 8, 1999.[4]

The guidelines stipulate that "both the mainland and Taiwan areas are parts of Chinese territory. Helping to bring about national unification should be the common responsibility of all Chinese people."[4]

The meaning of "one China" adopted by the "national unification council" on August 1, 1992 says that "both sides of the Taiwan Straits agree that there is only one China. However, the two sides of the Straits have different opinions as to the meaning of 'one China'."[4]

The council had already been out of operation under the administration of Chen Shui-bian since 2000, who has leant towards Taiwanese independence and opposed Chinese reunification. At the same time, in his "Four Noes and One Without" policy, Chen promised not to abolish formally the Council or the Guidelines for National Unification, in order to allay international concern about his possible moves toward declaring independence.


In his lunar new year speech in 2006 President Chen Shui-bian instructed the DPP to begin formal debate on the permanent abolition of the National Unification Council and the guidelines set out therein.[5] On February 27, 2006, Chen formally announced that the council would "cease to function" and its guidelines would "cease to apply".[6]

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