Wed, Sep 10, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Call Taiwan Taiwan: it's easier

By Wu Ming-chi 吳明基

Perhaps we should qualify the above statement that it is not US policy to call Taiwan the Republic of China.

The US position makes a distinction between "Formosa and the Pescadores" and the "offshore islands which have always been Chinese territory." So, one could argue that the US does recognize the ROC insofar as it has sovereignty over the offshore islands, but does not recognize the ROC as having any sovereignty over Taiwan.

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) would have to qualify his statement, then, that the ROC does not exist any more. The juridical position of the US would seem to be that the ROC exists, but only on Kinmen and Matsu.

Rectifying Taiwan's name would force "international action" to determine the status of the island and give Taiwanese citizens the opportunity to argue that they have effectively exercised their right to self-determination, provided for in the UN Charter, by creating a full-fledged democracy on Taiwan.

And it would surely make life easier for Daschle and his 534 colleagues in the US Congress.

Wu Ming-chi is president of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs.

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