Wed, Aug 29, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Seek independence from US

When the Republic of China (ROC) was founded in 1912, Taiwan was an overseas colony of Japan.

Article 4 of the ROC Constitution outlines specific procedures for the incorporation of new territory, but have these procedures been completed to incorporate the areas of "Formosa and the Pescadores?"

If some people want to claim that Oct. 25, 1945, was "Taiwan Retrocession Day," how is it that none of the Allies recognized any transfer of the territorial sovereignty of "Formosa and the Pescadores" to the ROC on this date?

Actually, the ROC held the Oct. 25, 1945, surrender ceremonies on behalf of the Allies. The ROC's ensuing military occupation of Taiwan has been conducted as a principal-agent relationship on behalf of the conqueror: the US. After the surrender ceremonies, Taiwan's international legal position was "an independent customs territory under USMG [US Military Government] on Japanese soil," with Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) personnel in charge of the administration.

The ROC's position in Taiwan, beginning on Oct. 25, 1945, has been and still is simply as a "subordinate occupying power."

The People's Republic of China (PRC) was founded on Oct. 1, 1949, and loyal officials of the ROC fled to occupied Taiwan. However, when the central government of the ROC officially moved to occupied Taiwan in December 1949, it became a government in exile, continuing to exist in name only. Under international law, there are no conditions, actions, or procedures under which a government-in-exile can become recognized as the legal government of its current locality of residence.

In other words, a government-in-exile cannot obtain "on-site legality."

So, how can Taiwan successfully undertake name rectification, write a new constitution and even enter the UN?

If we base our analysis on the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1952 to say that Taiwan is an overseas territory under the USMG, with another military force exercising delegated administrative authority for the jurisdiction, the US executive branch (including the State Department, Department of of Defense and White House) cannot disagree with it. After all, under Article 6 of the US Constitution, a Senate ratified treaty is part of the supreme law of the land.

Thus, according to this logic, the Taiwanese people need to be talking to US government officials about this entire "status" problem, and not to the officials of the UN, or to the officials of the PRC.

At this crucial juncture, regardless of whether one is a member of the pan-blue camp or the pan-green camp, in our quest for UN membership, we must first recognize that Taiwan is an overseas territory under the jurisdiction of the USMG. We must then end the delegated administrative authority of the ROC over Taiwan, and proceed with the drafting of a new Constitution, name rectification as "Taiwan," the establishment of a local Taiwanese civil government structure, election of a Taiwanese president (not an ROC president), etc.

Only in this way can Taiwan proceed upon the path to independence, and become a normal country in the world community.

John Hsieh

Hayward, California

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