Sun, Dec 31, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Taiwan is US territory

By Roger Lin

Gerrit van der Wees' article warrants a rebuttal.

It is important to look at the following points to judge whether Taiwan is a state:

(1) By way of historical background, following the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki, Japan did exercise sovereignty over Taiwan and held title to its territory.

(2) The US entered the Pacific War against Japan on Dec. 8, 1941. The Allied Powers defeated Japan and it surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.

(3) The Republic of China (ROC) was entrusted with authority over Formosa and the Pescadores as an agent of the Allied Powers. This arrangement was specified in General Order No. 1 of Sept. 2, 1945. The directive on behalf of the Allied Powers remains in force today. Nothing in the post-war San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) nor in any other treaty executed by or between the ROC and the other Allied Powers has altered this trusteeship arrangement.

(4) Following the acceptance of the surrender of Japanese forces in Taiwan by the representatives of dictator Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) government, Taiwan remained de jure Japanese territory. The ROC government occupied Taiwan on behalf of the US-led Allied powers pending a peace treaty with Japan, which would change the legal status of Taiwan.

(5) Pursuant to the SFPT, Japan renounced its sovereignty over Taiwan and title to its territory. Article 2(b) of the SFPT read: "Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores."

(6) China never became a party to the SFPT. Neither the ROC government, which occupied the island of Taiwan as agent for the "principal occupying power," nor the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC), established in 1949, signed, ratified or adhered to the SFPT.

(7) Article 25 of the SFPT specifically provided that the Treaty did "not confer any rights, titles or benefits on any State which [was] not an Allied Power [as defined in Article 23(a),]" subject to certain narrow exceptions set forth in Article 21. Accordingly, China, a non-party, did not receive "any right, titles or benefits" under the SFPT except as specifically provided in Article 21.

(8) Specifically, China, a non-party, was not entitled to any benefits under Article 2(b) dealing with the territory of Taiwan. The parties to the SFPT chose not to give any "right, title [or] claim to Formosa and the Pescadores" to China.

(9) While Article 2(b) of the SFPT did not designate a recipient of "all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores," Article 23 of the SFPT desig-nated the US as "the principal occupying power" with respect to the territories covered by the geographical scope of the SFPT, including "Formosa and the Pescadores."

(10) Following the entry into force of the SFPT, the ROC government continued to occupy Taiwan as a US agent -- "the principal occupying power."

(11) The Treaty of Peace between the ROC and Japan, which was signed on April 28, 1952 and entered into force on August 5, 1952 (known as the "Treaty of Taipei"), did not transfer sovereignty over Taiwan from Japan to China either.

(12) The SFPT did not terminate the agency relationship between the US, the principal, and the ROC, the agent, with regard to the occupation and administration of Taiwan.

(13) Following the entry into force of the SFPT on April 28, 1952, the ROC did not exercise sovereignty over Taiwan and did not have title to its territory.

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