Wed, Feb 16, 2011 - Page 8

Wake up call

A shocking political event took place recently when the Philippine government deported 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to China. The Philippine government treated the Taiwanese as Chinese, and this is a serious mistake. According to the principles of the San Francisco Peace Treaty and international law, Taiwan is not part of China. Sovereignty over Taiwan does not belong to China.

On Dec. 12, 2006, Shigeru Oda, a prominent jurist and former international court of justice judge, published a paper in the Japan Academy in which he wrote: “Taiwan is not part of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] in the past, and is not part of the PRC right now either.”

He also said that “beyond verbosity, the so-called ‘Taiwan Independence’ is Taiwanese becoming independent from the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] of the Republic of China [ROC], and has absolutely nothing to do with the Beijing regime.”

My late husband, C.C. Yang (楊建成), a former vice minister of economic affairs, published an article entitled “I am Taiwanese, not Chinese” in the Liberty Times on June 27, 1997, and also held the same view.

The origins of this incident can be traced back to April 28, 1952. When the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into force, Taiwanese officially lost their Japanese citizenship. According to the Treaty of Peace between the ROC and Japan, which came into force on Aug. 5, 1952, Taiwanese were forced to accept ROC citizenship. At that time, the advanced “nationality option” was not offered to the residents of Taiwan and Penghu.

The Treaty of Peace was abrogated when Japan established diplomatic relations with the PRC on Sept. 29, 1972, but the citizenship of the Taiwanese was not re-assigned or even mentioned.

On April 7, 2009, a US court ruled that the “People of Taiwan are stateless.” For the past 60 years, Taiwanese have been living in political purgatory. This is the tragic fate of Taiwanese. Currently, Taiwan is ruled by the exiled government of the ROC, but the whole world has the false impression that Taiwan is part of China. This is totally inconsistent with the historical facts and principles of international law.

If the Philippine government’s actions become a model for how the international community treats Taiwanese, this will result in overseas governments threatening to “repatriate” Taiwanese to China if they breach local laws. That will create a major threat to the safety and dignity of Taiwanese.

Faced with this, it is time for the people of Taiwan to wake up.

Many Taiwanese consider -themselves citizens of the ROC, but no one else in the world agrees with the existence of the ROC. That’s the reason the Philippine government sent the Taiwanese suspects to the PRC. Currently, the US refers to “Taiwan” as the “Taiwan authority,” not as a country.

The people of Taiwan need to unite, identify with Taiwan, draw a line with the ROC and declare to the world their desire to establish an independent state according to international law.

This is the only way to preserve our dignity and maintain our international status.

This is the only way Taiwan will ever have the authority to negotiate with other countries’ governments, and finally, dare to hope that the US under international law and the Taiwan Relations Act will lead the way for Taiwan to become a true nation.

Yang-Liu Hsiu-Hwa