In an interview with the Associated Press (AP) in October last year, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) revealed that he planned to conclude political agreements with China during his second term. Ma was forced to deny the report, ascribing the claims about his unification plot to a translation error on the part of the AP.
However, when he received German politician Hermann Otto Solms on June 14, Ma promoted his “mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of jurisdiction” with Beijing, erroneously comparing his hush-hush reconciliation with China to the 1972 Basic Treaty between West and East Germany.
Ma’s aspiration to force Taiwan to unite with China never wanes. He seems obsessed with legitimating unification.
After World War II, the occupation authorities in West Germany represented the nation’s highest diplomatic and military power from the defeat of the Third Reich on June 5, 1945, to the conclusion of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany on Sept. 12, 1990.
In the Declaration Regarding the Defeat of Germany and the Assumption of Supreme Authority by Allied Powers, issued on June 5, 1945, the Allies confirmed that the US, UK, USSR and the Provisional Government of the French Republic assumed “supreme authority with respect to Germany, including all the powers possessed by the German Government.”
West Germany started rebuilding in 1946. The occupation authorities first established the Lander, or states, during 1946 and 1947, then military governments guided the Lander with the Frankfurt Documents, derived from the principles laid down at the Six Powers London Conference on June 7, 1948. The Frankfurt Documents consisted of three documents: Constituent Assembly, Land Boundaries and Occupation Statute. The military governors retained the power to “conduct or direct for the time being Germany’s foreign relations” and “ensure the observance of the constitutions which they have approved.” The Allies allowed the Lander to draft a federal constitution for West Germany. The Basic Law came into force, which led to the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany. West Germany and East Germany were simultaneously admitted to the UN on Sept. 13, 1973.
Not until Sept. 12, 1990, when the occupant authorities renounced their legal powers over Germany in the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany was Germany’s full sovereignty restored. It took 46 years to rebuild Germany.
Neither of the two Germanys had full sovereignty in 1972. At that point, exchanges between the two were conducted not as domestic affairs, but in the context of partition occupation, the related military governments, the diplomacy of Federal Germany to East Europe and even changing West-East relations, which went from confrontation to detente during the 1960s and 1970s.
Clearly, the case of Germany is very different to that of the Republic of China (ROC) and the People’s Republic of China. Despite that, and his doctorate in international law, Ma made the implausible inference that the exiled Chinese regime in Taipei is able to overstep the legitimate authority of the Principal Occupying Power stipulated in the Allies’ Treaty of Peace with Japan in 1951. He mistakenly appears to believe that Taipei and Beijing can decide the status of Formosa and the Pescadores at will.