Sat, Aug 04, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Treaty of Taipei to be featured in exhibition

By Fan Cheng-shiang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

A two-week exhibition of the original diplomatic documents from the end of World War II will be held in Taipei next week to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Along with the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Taipei, the original copies of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, or the Treaty of Maguan, the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Declaration and the Japanese Instrument of Surrender will also be exhibited at the Academia Historica from tomorrow until Aug. 19.

The Treaty of Taipei was signed on April 28 in 1952 in Taipei between the Republic of China (ROC) government and the government of Japan and went into effect on Aug. 5 the same year.

The treaty included the “renouncement to all right, title and claim to Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) as well as the Spratly Islands [Nansha Islands, 南沙群島] and the Paracel Islands [Xisha Islands, 西沙群島]” by the Japanese and that “all treaties, conventions and agreements concluded before Dec. 9, 1941, between Japan and China have become null and void as a consequence of the war.”

The treaty’s wording meant that Japan surrendered its claims over the nation, without stating to whom it surrendered it.

However, the treaty does identify that “nationals of the Republic of China shall be deemed to include all the inhabitants and former inhabitants of Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) and their descendants who are of the Chinese nationality.”

The treaty’s wording also followed the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951, to which both the ROC and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) were denied invitations due to the Chinese Civil War leaving uncertain which government was the legitimate representative of China.

However, National Taiwan University (NTU) honorary professor Cheng Ching-jen (鄭欽仁) said yesterday that the historical view of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration was too “pro-China” and avoids the issue of “direct democratic power” and “power to the people.”

Although the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration provide the basis for Taiwan’s legal status, the deciding treaty should be the Treaty of San Francisco, which should annul the both the Cairo and Potsdam declarations, Cheng said.

The Japanese government’s “renouncement to all right, title and claim to Taiwan (Formosa)” had not made clear to which government it ceded the country, which gave the right of government back to the Taiwanese, Cheng said.

However, at the time, Taiwanese were under the autocratic rule of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and were unable to resolve the issue.

Chen also said that the Treaty of Taipei did not state that Japan ceded Taiwan to the ROC.

Even in 1972, when Japan formally established diplomatic ties with China, Japan did not “recognize” that Taiwan was part of China’s territory because it felt that it had renounced the right of government over Taiwan and was in no position to state which country Taiwan belonged to.

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