Tue, Oct 04, 2005 - Page 8 News List

No grounds for issuing IDs

By Richard Hartzell

The Ministry of the Interior has been making plans to issue new ROC ID cards for more than a year. In connection with the new procedures, the Council of Grand Justices has recently ruled that compulsory fingerprinting is unconstitutional.

However, a much more serious issue has been left unclar-ified. What is the legal basis for the ministry to issue ROC ID cards at all?

As has been noted in many Liberty Times (Taipei Times' sister newspaper) editorials, Oct. 25, 1945, only marked the beginning of the military occupation of "Formosa and the Pescadores." There was no transfer of sovereignty on that date. The announcement of Oct. 25, 1945, as "Taiwan Retrocession Day" is the big lie on which all other lies frequently promoted in Taiwan (or at least, those regarding the legitimacy of the ROC) are based.

The Nationality Law (國籍法) was originally promulgated in February 1929, but at that time Taiwan was part of Japan.

The representatives of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) arrived in Taiwan in mid-October 1945, at the direction of General Douglas MacArthur. They proclaimed Oct. 25 as "Taiwan Retrocession Day" and in the following months made numerous statements that the Taiwanese people were being naturalized en masse as "Republic of China citizens."

However, to institute naturalization procedures over civilians in occupied territory is a war crime. For the Taiwanese people to be bona fide ROC citizens, two conditions would need to be met. First, the post-war treaty would have to award sovereignty of Taiwan to the ROC and second, there would have to be a law passed regarding these mass-naturalization procedures, after the peace treaty came into effect on April 28, 1952. In fact, neither of these two conditions was met.

British foreign secretary Anthony Eden, in a written statement dated Feb. 5, 1955, affirmed that "In September 1945, the administration of Formosa was taken over from the Japanese by Chinese forces at the direction of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers; but this was not a cession, nor did it in itself involve any change of sovereignty."

Considering that Japan renounced the sovereignty of "Formosa and the Pescadores" in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, but that sovereignty of these areas was not awarded to the ROC, one could easily claim that there is no legal basis for the issuance of ROC ID cards to Taiwanese persons at all.

When will the "pro name-rectification" governing-party legislators in the Legislative Yuan wake up to this fact and demand that the Council of Grand Justices rule on this legal matter?

Richard Hartzell

Taipei

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