Sat, Nov 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Post-‘one China’ future needs serious thought: historian

Staff writer, with CNA

An expert on the nation’s political history yesterday urged people to revisit Taiwan’s status and envision its future beyond the “one China” narrative.

Taiwan must discuss a number of things to raise national awareness, including the revision of its flag, national day and national anthem, as they were brought by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) colonial regime, Monash University professor of Asian Languages and Studies Bruce Jacobs said in a speech at the Australian Office in Taipei.

Jacobs said he hopes that such discussions would lead to a “paradigm shift.”

The new thinking also applies to foreign policy, with the aim to wrest control from China and resist its attempts to enforce the “one China” principle, Jacobs said.

“When you look at Taiwan and its foreign relations, I want to propose that we think about Taiwan in new ways, and this is important not only for people in Taiwan, but also for ... democratic powers around the world that have to deal with countries like Taiwan and China,” he said.

Taiwan should stop emphasizing its “so-called diplomatic allies” to legitimize its statehood, Jacobs said.

Taiwan should not sever relations with a state that recognizes the People’s Republic of China, even if the state has been “insulting,” he said.

Jacobs cited the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, which codifies the declarative theory of statehood and is accepted as part of customary international law, saying that Taiwan meets all its requirements for statehood.

This means that Taiwan does not need recognition from other countries to become a state, he said.

Taiwan should work closely with democratic powers to establish more formal bilateral ties, even as they maintain relations with China, he said.

Jacobs has long been a fixture in the Taiwan studies community. He came to Taiwan in 1965 to study at National Taiwan University and has visited regularly ever since.

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