Cairo claims lack substance
I read with fascination the last paragraph of a Taipei Times article on centenarian Flying Tiger Lee Hsueh-yan (李學炎), (“Ex-Flying Tiger turns 102,” March 5, page 3), which reads: “The Cairo Declaration [...] is the basis for the ROC government’s sovereignty claim over Taiwan.”
Indeed, for the past 60 years, the Cairo Declaration has been cited by the ROC government to justify its presence in Taiwan.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) also cites the Cairo Declaration to augment its claim that Taiwan is part of China.
The Cairo Declaration is held at the US National Archives just outside Washington.
Several years ago I received a letter from the assistant archivist for records services at the US National Archives, who wrote: “The National Archives and Records Administration has not filed this declaration under treaties. […] The declaration was a communique and it does not have [a] treaty series (TS) or executive agreement series (EAS) number.”
Clearly, the ROC and PRC sovereignty claims over Taiwan have feet of clay.
The 1943 Cairo Declaration that wrapped up a meeting between Winston Churchill, FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] and Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) was merely a declaration of intention about the world’s affairs among the three leaders.
Although important at the time, it does not have any legally binding power almost 65 years later, allowing neither the KMT nor the PRC to derive territorial claims from it.