Rally held to commemorate 1951 San Francisco Treaty

HISTORY AS POLITICS::The TSU chairman said that the parade was held to remind the world that the San Francisco Peace Treaty made Taiwanese ‘free men’

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Mon, Sep 05, 2011 - Page 1

Thousands of people attended a rally yesterday afternoon in Taipei to voice their opposition to the so-called “1992 consensus” and express their concern over Taiwan’s sovereignty under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.

Thousands of people gathered in front of the Presidential Office to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty as part of the rally, which was organized by the Taiwan Nation Alliance.

The aim of the parade was to say to both the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the international community that Taiwan does not belong to China, organizers said.

Japan signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty with 48 UN member countries in a meeting on Sept. 8, 1951. In the treaty, Japan declared that it would relinquish its claims to Taiwan, Penghu and all other offshore islands.

Although the treaty has weight in international law, it does not say to which party Japan ceded Taiwan and Penghu, alliance spokesperson Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) said, adding that this means Taiwan is not part of China and that Taiwanese have the right to establish their own country.

The “1992 consensus” never existed, Yao said, adding that by accepting a consensus on the basis of “one China,” Ma had committed treason because he claimed that Taiwan’s sovereignty belongs to another country.

The parade started in front of Wanhua (萬華) Train Station at 2:28pm, in commemoration of the 228 Massacre in 1947, and ended on Ketagalan Boulevard.

Several political parties, including the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the Taiwan Nationalist Party, as well as many pro-independence groups, took part.

During the parade the crowd chanted slogans: “Dump Ma, protect Taiwan,” “Taiwan Consensus: ‘One China, One Taiwan’” and “Protect sovereignty, safeguard peace,” with protestors carrying various handmade signs and placards, some of which read “anti--annexation” and “China: hands off Taiwan.”

The parade was held to remind the international community that the San Francisco Peace Treaty gave Taiwanese the status of “free men” who, like people of other colonies around the world after World War II, were given the right to establish their own country, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said.

Taiwan’s sovereignty belongs to no one else — neither to the Republic of China nor the People’s Republic of China. It belongs only to Taiwanese, he said.

It is a fact that Taiwan’s status remains undetermined, because the “Taiwan problem” after World War II was handled differently from that of Korea and Okinawa, said Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深), an associate research fellow in the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica.

After Japan ceded its right to Taiwan and Penghu, Taiwanese never exercised their right to self-determination and this was because of the occupation by KMT military forces, Taiwan Association of University Professors president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said, adding that if the KMT won the presidential election next year, Taiwan’s status risked being be further jeopardized.

“Nobody can deny the fact that Taiwan is a sovereign country,” DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) told reporters before the parade.