Sat, Feb 08, 2014 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Taiwan not a part of ROC

If the upper beam is not straight, the bottom beam must be twisted.

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington again caused great confusion with its letter posted on Jan. 20. It said: “According to Taiwan’s Constitution, it is a part of the ROC [Republic of China].” (Letters, Jan. 20, page 8)

First, there is no “Taiwan Constitution.”

Second, the Control Yuan just recently chastised the Executive Yuan over its referral to the ROC as Taiwan, which means there is no Taiwan constitution, but a constitution of the ROC.

Third, the US’ Taiwan Relations Act, Section 15, Article 2 says: “Taiwan includes ... the governing authorities on Taiwan recognized by the United States as the Republic of China prior to January 1, 1979.” That means the ROC is included in Taiwan, not that Taiwan is part of the ROC.

The key argument in a letter dated Jan. 9 (Letter, Jan. 9, page 8) was that while Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) answered: “It’s the first time I have heard of this” to Legislator Mark Chen’s (陳唐山) statement that the US does not recognize Taiwan as part of China at all, the US State Department’s demarche: “The United States will be obliged to disassociate itself on a national basis from such a position” in response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s official letter stating that: “The United Nations considers Taiwan for all purposes to be an integral part of the People’s Republic of China [PRC]” was a crystal-clear US policy on Taiwan.

Yes, TECRO’s letter mentioned the importance of the Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances”: The US would not alter its position over Taiwan’s sovereignty and it would not formally recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. They emphasized and confirmed the US has never altered its policy, which means they agree that since the end of World War II, the long-standing US policy on Taiwan has been consistent: “There is only one China. Taiwan is not independent. It does not enjoy sovereignty as a nation and that remains our policy, our firm policy.”

However, TECRO’s open letter associated with King’s statement to a legislator that he has never heard of the interpretation of the US’ “‘one China policy’ — that Washington does not recognize Taiwan as part of China” — was puzzling and worrying. They said and wrote something improperly and inconsistently and then accused the media and readers of taking the statements out of context and misinterpreting them, which is unfortunate and distracts from the pursuit of Taiwan’s important policy objectives.

That Taiwan does not belong to the PRC is the nation’s most important policy. However, TECRO’s letter is inspiration to create a Taiwan constitution. TECRO, as the official representative of Taiwan in Washington, should read carefully the Taiwan Relations Act, which states that Taiwan includes the ROC, but is not a part of it.

John Hsieh

Hayward, California

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