Tue, Feb 05, 2013 - Page 8

Humbling arrogant politicians

Retired military officers do not steal or rob (“Military association takes aim at Wu,” Feb. 1, page 3). I don’t see anything wrong about their moonlighting or having second careers to earn extra money for a better quality of life. The pursuit of happiness is a right granted to every citizen by the Constitution. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng’s (吳育昇) criticism of retired officers was absurd and arrogant.

Recently, Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) behaved in a manner similar to Wu. In an interview last month with a Taipei-based radio station, Kuan said that the government paid NT$50 million (US$1.6 million) to feed each civil servant for 58 years.

By using the word “feed,” Kuan insulted civil servants by speaking about them as if they were dogs or pigs. In addition, one would have to be a civil servant from the age of 20 and live to be 79 in order to realize Kuan’s allegation. It is almost impossible to pass the civil service examination at that age, and most people will not even live that long.

The government did not listen to civil servants’ views on reforming the pension system before making decisions that affect millions.

Kuan’s haughty, ridiculous remarks have merely rubbed salt in the wound.

As it says in the Old Testament: “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighted.” (1 Samuel 2:3).

Or as Scottish philosopher, historian, economist and essayist David Hume put it: “When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.”

I have long seen the arrogance and hypocrisy shown by politicians across the political spectrum.

Now KMT heavyweights have become the leading actors in this farce — what a shame.

David Tzou


Okinawan view on Diaoyutais

Some say that the Diaoyutais Islands (釣魚台) were ceded to Japan — which calls them the Senkakus — by China’s Qing dynasty in the Treaty of Shimonoski as a result of the First Sino-Japanese War. They then argue that since Japan accepted the terms of unconditional surrender stipulated in the Cairo Declaration after World War II, it should observe these terms and fulfil its obligation –– including losing all islands in the Pacific region.

Manchuria, Taiwan, the Pescadores and other affiliated islands were restored to China automatically when Japan surrendered. The Ryukyu Islands, including the Diaoyutais, were stripped from Japan and put under a US trusteeship.

Why weren't the Diayoutais returned to China when Taiwan was restored? Apparently, they were not considered spoils of war taken by Japan.

The international community took the post-World War II regime for granted. Even the People’s Republic of China that had assumed power in Beijing in 1949, kept acknowledging the “status quo” until 1971.

In the Jan. 8, 1953, edition of the People’s Daily, an article describes the island chain stretching between Kyushu and Taiwan — the Ryukyus — and calls an island group in the chain “the Senkaku Islands.”

The article was discovered among Chinese government archives in December last year and is reported to describe the Senkakus as part of the Ryukyu Islands, which were a geo-political entity at the time.

The Treaty of Taipei signed on April 28, 1952, stipulates that Japan renounced all rights to Taiwan, Penghu, the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) and the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島), over which Japan no longer had any jurisdiction, but it left out the Diaoyutais.

These documents and historical evidence reflect that China — regardless of who was in power in Beijing — had thought until at least 1971, that the Diaoyutai Islands were Japan’s sovereign territory, not just something that Tokyo won after the First Sino-Japanese War.

Yoshio Shimoji

Naha, Okinawa