Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday said that the 1945 “retrocession of Taiwan to the Republic of China (ROC)” is a historical fact that should be recognized by both the ruling and opposition parties.
“Seventy years ago today, the ROC’s military forces defeated Imperial Japan to secure victory in the eight-year War of Resistance Against Japan, allowing Taiwan to return to its embrace,” Chu said in an address at a commemorative event held in New Taipei City to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender of Taiwan.
Urging the public to maintain a “thankful heart,” Chu said he would like to express his sincerest gratitude to all the heroes who fought in the war against Japan, the forebears of the ROC and each individual who dedicated their service to Taiwan over the past seven decades.
Photo: Lai Hsiao-tung, Taipei Times
On the sidelines of the event, Chu said he was concerned about what the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) stance and views were on the “historical fact” that Taiwan was “recovered by the ROC.”
“The period between the Japanese colonization and the ROC’s recovery of Taiwan was a piece of history jointly faced by the people of Taiwan that should be respected,” Chu said, expressing his hope that no more controversies would be stirred up by political parties’ divided views on the matter.
Many Taiwanese historians and academics have taken issue with the KMT over its long-standing claims that Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) troops were the ones who liberated Taiwan and returned it to China’s control following Japan’s defeat in World War II.
Some have argued that Taiwan was liberated by the US, as the defeat of Japan was the result of a US offensive in the Pacific.
Others dismiss the notion that Japan’s renouncement of sovereignty over Taiwan meant the island returned to China’s control, saying that neither the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco nor the 1952 Treaty of Taipei, between the KMT and Japan, designated a specific country to assume sovereignty over Taiwan.
When asked by reporters about Chu’s call for her to recognize the “historical fact” that the ROC reclaimed Taiwan after the end of the war, DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) played down the issue, saying that she already made her views about the ROC abundantly clear at the Double Ten National Day celebrations earlier this month and declined to elaborate.
Chu also dodged questions about the likelihood of him pairing up with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) for the presidential election.
“Most [KMT] lawmakers want Wang to remain in the Legislative Yuan because of his substantial experience leading the legislature. I respect their opinions,” Chu said, adding that Wang would also respect the party’s decisionmaking mechanism.
Chu then reiterated the KMT’s plan to revise its regulations to lift a self-imposed three-term limit on the legislative speaker’s legislator-at-large seat, a move Chu said the party hopes will promote neutrality and objectivity in the speakership.
Regarding former New Party legislator Chao Shao-kang’s (趙少康) recent calls for Chu to distance himself from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to bolster his campaign, Chu said there should be no question about disassociation from the president.
“Instead, I intend to do better than the current administration in aspects where it has already performed satisfactorily, such as cross-strait policies, and to reflect on where its performance has been lackluster, such as the planned 12-year national education system, and push for improvements,” Chu said.
Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin
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