Thu, Oct 29, 2015 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Taiwan at the crossroads

Oct. 25 marked the 70th anniversary of so-called “Retrocession Day.” President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) emphasized the Chinese Nationalist Party’s “victory” in the eight-year War of Resistance against Japan, which he said contributed to the retrocession of Taiwan to the Republic of China (ROC), as indicated in the Cairo Declaration, Potsdam Declaration and Japanese Instrument of Surrender

Ma’s statement is just rhetoric without any legal basis, as the Cairo Declaration was merely a media communique unsigned by the “Big Three” — then-US president Franklin Roosevelt, then-British prime minister Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) at the Cairo meeting; the Potsdam Declaration only mentioned the limits of Japan’s future territory, while Chiang did not attend the meeting; and the Japanese Instrument of Surrender did not mention anything related to Taiwan’s retrocession.

Seventy years ago the KMT/ROC was authorized under General Order No. 1 by US General Douglas MacArthur to accept the surrender of Japanese commanders and all forces in Taiwan, China and Vietnam. The San Francisco Peace Treaty — the final settlement of World War II — did not give the ROC sovereignty over Taiwan.

So, there is no Retrocession Day; Oct. 25, 1945, only marked the date of the KMT’s new military occupation of Taiwan, which has not officially ended. In fact, the declaration of Taiwan’s Retrocession to China is a war crime, as it violated rules saying that a military occupation does not constitute the transaction of sovereignty, which must be done through the signing of peace treaties.

KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) has said that he is concerned over the attitude of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) toward the nature of the ROC’s presence in Taiwan. Taiwan’s history since the Japanese colonial period must be respected by all; hopefully, there will not be controversial views stirred up by political parties. Taiwanese have for decades suffered as a result of the KMT/ROC’s war crime of occupying Taiwan, and now its modern-day incarnation is asking people to respect the criminal act. What a joke.

DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has said that there are two camps that hold differing views on the Oct. 25 holiday.

What Tsai said highlights what is important: People must recognize the existence of differences; then, mutual understanding and tolerance can help stop these camps from greater divergence.

The war ended 70 years ago, and the Martial Law-era has been over for 28 years; the task of this generation is to make new memories — to make the lives of different ethnic groups become integrated with society, rather than the root cause of disputes.

Quoting George Leslie Mackay, a missionary to Taiwan, Tsai said: “No matter where we come from, regardless of the troubles and noise, Taiwan is our home. We want to serve, to love, to pamper her.”

However, is Taiwan an independent nation? If not, how can it be established? The No. 1 issue we face is national identity: Taiwan or the ROC?

The international community calls the nation “Taiwan,” but should “ROC” be emphasized? The name ROC directly challenges China and invites it to annex Taiwan. The issue is not resolved by a unilateral declaration of retrocession.

Unfortunately, after 70 years of brainwashing by the KMT, Taiwanese have begun taking for granted the existence of the ROC. Most people believe that Taiwan is the ROC, and the ROC is Taiwan. However, consider reality: Is the ROC an independent nation with sovereignty? The answer is no. The KMT cites the ROC Constitution, which claims China and Mongolia as its the territory; the notion is baloney. Chinese do not recognize it and even Chiang did not stick to the idea, putting into place a temporary provision during the Communist rebellion.

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