Alfred Tsai offered a good summary of Taiwan's situation (Letters, Nov. 6, page 8) when he said: "Both the pan-blue and pan-green camps are misleading people when they declare that Taiwan is part of China or that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign nation."
In the book The Creation of States in International Law (2nd edition), author James Crawford, speaking of the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations and the San Francisco Peace Treaty, wrote: "The cession of territory at the end of a war must await the peace treaty ... the problem was that, in 1951, there was no agreement between the signatories as to which government represented that State (`China'). Until 1952, the position of the Republic of China [ROC] in Taiwan was that of a belligerent occupant and, after 1949, government-in-exile of China."
The analysis underlines the fact that there was no transfer of the sovereignty of Taiwan to the ROC upon the Oct. 25, 1945, surrender of Japanese troops on the island.
Furthermore, since international law does not recognize any methods or procedures by which a "government-in-exile" can become the lawfully recognized government of its current locality of residence, it is clear that all actions aimed at gaining more international diplomatic recognition for the ROC in the international community are doomed to fail.
In summary, Taiwan is a "country without a government" that is being occupied and run by a "government without a country." As such, it does not fulfill the Montevideo Convention's criteria for statehood. Until the ROC is dissolved and Taiwanese create a new and proper Taiwanese civil government, "Taiwan" can neither be a normal country nor can join the UN.
Taiwan's efforts at "self-determination" should begin with the recognition that US military government jurisdiction over Taiwan is still active. If a consensus on this point (clearly stipulated in Article 4b of the San Francisco Peace Treaty) can be reached, then the members of the US Congress can assume jurisdiction over Taiwan based on the territorial clause of the US Constitution.
Certainly one of the Congress' first acts will be to rectify the name of Taiwan to "Taiwan," and to discard, once and for all, the inappropriate label of "Republic of China" into the dustbin of history.
Roger C.S. Lin
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has over the past few months continued to escalate its hegemonic rhetoric and increase its incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. The US, in turn, has finally realized how its “strategic ambiguity” is increasingly wearing thin. Similarly, any hopes the US had that the PRC would be a responsible stakeholder and economic player have diminished, if not been abandoned. Taiwan, of course, remains as the same de facto independent, democratic nation that the PRC covets. As a result, the US needs to reconsider not only the amount, but also the type of arms
Taking advantage of my Taipei Times editors’ forbearance, I thought I would go with a change of pace by offering a few observations on an interesting nature topic, the many varieties of snakes in Taiwan. I will be drawing on my experiences living in Taiwan five times, from my teenage years in Kaohsiung back in the early sixties, to my last assignment as American Institute in Taiwan Director in 2006-9. Taiwan, with its semitropical climate, is a perfect setting for serpents. Indeed, one might say serpents are an integral part of the island’s ecosystem. Taiwan is warm, humid, with lots of
China constantly seeks out ways to complain about perceived slights and provocations as pretexts for its own aggressive behavior. It is both victimization paranoia and a form of information warfare that keeps the West on the defensive. True to form, China objected even to the innocuous reference to Taiwan at April 16’s summit meeting between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Neither leader’s prepared remarks even mentioned Taiwan, out of deference to the Japanese side. Biden’s opening statement was modest: “Prime Minister Suga and I affirmed our ironclad support for US-Japanese alliance and for our shared security.
Last month, the Philippine National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea reported that more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels were anchored at the disputed Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, known as Julian Felipe Reef in the Philippines. The task force released astonishing photographs, which showed clusters of enormous fishing trawlers at anchor and tied together in neat rows. Needless to say, the ships were not engaging in commercial fishing activity; they belong to China’s “maritime militia.” Beijing’s flimsy official explanation is that the vessels are temporarily seeking shelter from inclement weather. This is patently ridiculous, given the time that