Taiwan’s sovereignty crisis
After reading Lee Hsiao-feng’s (李筱峰) new book The Raven is not Happy, my heart was filled with mixed feelings. I was a 25-year-old of Japanese nationality at the end of World War II, through no choice of my own. I was then forced to be a citizen of the Republic of China (ROC) until now.
The Sept. 11, 2008, issue of the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported that the “US cannot call Taiwan the ROC in their diplomatic communications.” The article said that the US did not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign independent state. A US court ruled that Taiwanese were stateless on April 7, 2009. In the recent case involving Taiwanese diplomat Jacqueline Liu (劉姍姍), US prosecutors did not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state either. For 60 years, my heart has always been unhappy because Taiwanese have been treated as political prisoners.
In early October, I attended the Akashi Association Inaugural Memorial Lectures in Japan. Many previous Japanese representatives to Taiwan, senior diplomats and Japanese friends came to this event. Later, I asked them how to resolve the issue of Taiwan’s sovereign status under current international law. One of them, who is versed in international law, believed that it would not be easy to solve under the current international political and legal reality. I inquired whether instead of using legal means, we could solve the issue by switching to a statement of facts.
He thought for a moment, and then stated that “the statement of fact” is more effective than legal means.
“Also, it makes more sense,” he said.
On TV, some people have repeatedly stressed the need to defend the “Republic of China,” and indicated that this was the only way to protect Taiwan’s security. The fact is, despite China’s use of missiles to threaten Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) still intends to sign a “peace agreement” with China without demanding that China renounce the use of force against Taiwan.
Where can we find security and peace under Ma’s administration? According to the principles of international law, Taiwan does not belong to China (whether the ROC or the People’s Republic of China). At present, Taiwanese are forced to participate in elections and to fight for their rights and democratic freedoms within the “ROC” system.
From media reports, I can see that Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) campaign draws enthusiastic support from Taiwanese. This shows that people have faith in Tsai and hope she will lead us out of this sovereignty crisis.
To maintain the “status quo” is like remaining a concubine, without dignity. I hope and pray that Taiwanese will wake up, ask for dignity and make the protection of our sovereignty a priority. I pray God will give Tsai wisdom and courage for the election, and that God will give her more wisdom and courage to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty if she is elected president.
Yang Liu Hsiu-hwa