Taiwan’s CSD plan?
On July 1, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved a proposal to reinterpret Japan’s constitution, ending the ban on allowing its military forces to exercise the right of collective self-defense (CSD). What does this mean for Taiwan? Can Japan apply CSD if Taiwan comes under attack from the People’s Republic of China (PRC)?
Hofstra University law professor Julian Ku published an article titled: “Why defending Taiwan is illegal” on July 12 in The Diplomat online magazine, to question whether CSD would help Taiwan against an attack from China. He said if Japan and the US applied CSD to defend Taiwan, that would be in violation of international law. And if China invaded Taiwan, it would be legal because China would be using force within its own territory.
Ku later added that “Taiwan should be defended, even though the defense is illegal.”
“For those of us who love Taiwan, it is no use pretending the law supports US … military protection. It doesn’t,” he said.
Ku said the UN Charter’s Article 51 only authorizes an act of “collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations.”
Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, and to make matters worse from Taiwan’s perspective, Japan recognizes the government in Beijing as the rightful government of China, and Japan further recognizes that Taiwan is part of China, he said.
Ku’s statement is a standard propaganda of the PRC’s policy on Taiwan. It is only one side of the story. However, what is surprising is that a law professor could be so irresponsible in claiming that Japan recognizes that Taiwan is part of China without any proof.
In May, 2007, former Japanese representative in Taiwan Masaki Saito said publicly in Taipei that Taiwan’s status is undetermined. In diplomatic language, he said Japan understands and respects the Chinese stance, acknowledging that Taiwan is Chinese territory, but it does not mean Japan recognizes Taiwan as part of China.
Unfortunately, Ku makes no difference between acknowledgment and recognition.
I do not know how much Ku loves Taiwan. I do know Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) also loves Taiwan. Obviously, the types of love are different. What are the differences?
First, Japan, like the US, does not recognize Taiwan as part of China. Second, Japan has the same right as any other signatory state under Article 51 of the UN Charter to exercise individual and collective self-defense.
Third, Taiwan is under the protection of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). On June 27, 1950, former US president Harry Truman ordered the 7th Fleet to prevent any attack on Formosa. That order is still valid.
Fourth, the PRC published the Anti-Secession Law in 2005; if defending Taiwan is illegal, then why/what is the PRC waiting for?
Fifth, why did UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon shut his mouth after claiming Taiwan was part of China, after the US Department of State’s rebuke in 2007? On UN record, Taiwan is not part of China.
Sixth, China’s claim of ownership of Taiwan and its complaint that the US invaded its territory was rejected by the UN Security Council at the 530th meeting on Nov. 3, 1950.
Seventh, Articles 52 and 53 of the UN Charter clearly indicate how to utilize regional arrangements or agencies to maintain international peace and security.
Eighth, in the UN Charter’s Chapter 11: Declaration regarding Non-Governing territories, Articles 73, 77 and 78 specify the rights of these territories.
Lastly, Taiwan’s status quo is clearly regulated in the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Japan renounced the right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores, and the US is the principal occupying power. The San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed in 1951, long after the establishment of the UN in 1945.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited Ku to attend the ROC Chinese Society of International Law. Ku then turned around to play a different tune of love for Taiwan and Ma accepted it without any rebuttal. That is a shame.
While Japan and the US are busy planning the collective self-defense to protect Taiwan, in spite of the legal or illegal issue, how does Taiwan plan to defend itself? What is Taiwan’s CSD plan?