Sun, Oct 30, 2005 - Page 8 News List

The true meaning of `retrocession'

By the Liberty Times editorial

As China marked the 60th anniversary of Taiwan's recovery from Japan with an unprecedented high-profile celebration, and invited some pro-China groups from Taiwan as examples to support its claim to the nation, it did not forget to bully Taiwan by depriving it of one more diplomatic ally.

On the one hand, Beijing responded to the pan-blue camp through its high-profile celebration of the so-called Retrocession on Oct. 25. But at the same time, it bought Taiwan's diplomatic ally Senegal, in an effort to further undermine the nation's diplomatic efforts and marginalize Taiwan in the international community.

This two-pronged attack, targeting Taiwan on the domestic and international fronts, is designed to destroy the legitimacy of the nation's existence and force it to eventually accept the idea of "one country, two systems."

China has made every effort to oppress and unify Taiwan, and has even forged the history of the "retrocession." It has been repeatedly pointed out that when Japan finally surrendered at the end of World War II in 1945, the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) troops came to Taiwan to accept its surrender under General Douglas MacArthur's General Order No. 1. At that time, all forces north of 16o latitude in Vietnam also surrendered to former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石). Therefore, Taiwan was later occupied by -- rather than sovereignty transferred to -- ? the KMT government.

In the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, Japan merely announced an abandonment of its claims on Taiwan. This was the correct thing for the defeated Japan to do in the circumstances. First, the Qing dynasty had ceded Taiwan to Japan in perpetuity after the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. As a result, the ownership of Taiwan is completely unrelated to China. Next, although Japan was defeated in the war, it was not defeated by China. At that time, most of China was occupied by Japanese troops, and the government only ruled a small area in the country's southwest. As the KMT could hardly protect itself, how was it able to liberate Taiwan from Japan? In other words, the defeat of Japan was a result of US attacks and the two atomic bombs. The retrocession of Taiwan was a result of US actions, and as President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has pointed out, it did not constitute a return to China.

The KMT is nothing more -- or less -- than a foreign overlord in Taiwan. The fact that Taiwan was released from Japanese rule had nothing to do with the KMT, and under its dictatorial rule, Taiwan suffered the White Terror and the 228 Incident in which much of its intellectual elite was destroyed. What right does such a government, its hands still covered in Taiwanese blood, have to talk about the retrocession of Taiwan?

The establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 set China on a path quite separate from that of Taiwan. The divergent historical development of these two countries China's celebration of Retrocession totally absurd. And as China's leadership, joined by pan-blue politicians, celebrated, China's policy of repression against Taiwan did not soften, even for a moment. Even on the very day of the celebrations, China smilingly announced its coup in depriving Taiwan of a diplomatic ally.

According to Taiwan's ambassador in Senegal, China dangled a carrot of US$200 million, along with assistance in the development of mineral resources and construction of a tunnel beneath the river separating Senegal and Gambia, a deal worth over US$2 billion. China was clearly willing to disregard the cost, clear evidence of what Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade later said: in the pursuit of national interests, there can be no friendships.

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