Make Taiwan a great country
Jan. 13 marked the 30th anniversary of Chiang Ching-kuo’s (蔣經國) death and Taiwan is once again at a crossroads.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) used it as a reminder of Taiwanese history and asked all Taiwanese to commemorate Chiang for his contributions and achievements in Taiwan, while the general public feels that Taiwan should end the international isolation caused by the Chiang administrations and that all Chiang statues should be removed from public buildings and school campuses.
Chiang’s father, Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), was defeated by Mao Zedong (毛澤東) and fled from China to Taiwan. He brainwashed the Taiwanese to believe that the Republic of China (ROC) was a sovereign nation that owned the territories of China and Mongolia, but his representatives were expelled from the UN in 1971.
The fact is that the ROC was eliminated in 1949. It is now an illusionary nation that almost no one in the international community except the Taiwanese recognize as a sovereign state.
Yes, the ROC was a sovereign nation established in 1911, but it ended and was replaced by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. However, Chiang Kai-shek reinstated it after he escaped to Taiwan, so it should be recognized as an exiled government. Both Chiangs believed that the ROC represented all China, but after the passing of their dynasty, the public elected Lee [Teng-hui (李登輝)] as president and he revised it to the ROC on Taiwan.
Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) then said that the ROC is Taiwan, but his successor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said the ROC owns Taiwan. It looks as if Taiwan is closely related to the ROC, and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has even said that Taiwan is the ROC and the ROC is Taiwan.
Is this true? If it were, then how could Taiwan reject the “one China” principle?
Fortunately, it is not true. Taiwan is not the ROC and the ROC is not Taiwan, because Taiwan has never been listed in the ROC constitution and there is no legal document to prove that the ROC has sovereignty over Taiwan.
After World War II, Japan renounced all rights, titles and claims to Formosa and the Pescadores Islands in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, giving nobody sovereignty over Taiwan.
The US Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act to safeguard Taiwan and former US president Ronald Reagan orally made six assurances to Taiwan in 1982, which were reaffirmed by the US Department of State on Feb. 14, 2003, and by the Republican National Committee on July 18, 2016.
“We oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Straits on the principle that all issues regarding the island’s future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China were to violate those principles, the United States, in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself,” the committee said.
Under the Taiwan Relations Act, Taiwan today is not a sovereign nation yet, but a governing authority. The illusionary title “ROC” has misled Taiwanese to believe it is a sovereign nation and that Taiwan is an independent sovereign country. Unfortunately, it is not, and that is why Taiwan is not a UN member.
How can we make Taiwan a great country, as both Lee and Chen wanted? There are of course a lot of things to do to achieve that goal, but one thing is for sure: We must leave the ROC behind, for it has always trapped Taiwan in the “one China” arena threatened by Communist China.
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