The Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan is a different country from the one founded in China in 1912, despite having the same name, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday.
Arguing that it is the status quo today that "the ROC is Taiwan, and Taiwan equals the ROC, " Lu said the issue of whether the country's official name should be Taiwan or the ROC is a matter that the people in this country can take their time to deal with in the future.
Lu made the remarks in a speech on Taiwan's international status at Tamkang University.
Lu said that China cut its ties with Taiwan when it ceded Taiwan and Penghu to Japan in 1895.
Although the Cairo Declaration of 1943 called for Japan to return the territories to the ROC, the document did not bear the signatures of the leaders of the ROC, the US and the UK who attended the conference and therefore cannot be considered an official treaty, Lu said.
At the time of the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, the world had not decided upon whether Japan should sign a peace deal with the ROC government in Taiwan or with the People's Republic of China government, Lu said, noting that Japan opted to sign the treaty with the ROC government.
"Both the Cairo Declaration and the Treaty of Peace Between Japan and China show that the Taiwan issue is totally unrelated to the Beijing government. Taiwan is definitely not part of China as claimed by Beijing," Lu said.
According to Lu, the history of the ROC can be divided into four phases, with the first lasting from the republic's founding in 1912 to its 1949 defeat in China's civil war.
The second began in 1950 after ROC president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) moved the capital to Taipei, Lu said.
The third phase began in 1991 when then President Lee Teng-hui (
The fourth phase, Lu said, began in 1996 when the people of Taiwan were allowed to directly elect their president for the first time.