Make Taiwan a great country
Jan. 13 marked the 30th anniversary of Chiang Ching-kuo’s (蔣經國) death and Taiwan is once again at a crossroads.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) used it as a reminder of Taiwanese history and asked all Taiwanese to commemorate Chiang for his contributions and achievements in Taiwan, while the general public feels that Taiwan should end the international isolation caused by the Chiang administrations and that all Chiang statues should be removed from public buildings and school campuses.
Chiang’s father, Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), was defeated by Mao Zedong (毛澤東) and fled from China to Taiwan. He brainwashed the Taiwanese to believe that the Republic of China (ROC) was a sovereign nation that owned the territories of China and Mongolia, but his representatives were expelled from the UN in 1971.
The fact is that the ROC was eliminated in 1949. It is now an illusionary nation that almost no one in the international community except the Taiwanese recognize as a sovereign state.
Yes, the ROC was a sovereign nation established in 1911, but it ended and was replaced by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. However, Chiang Kai-shek reinstated it after he escaped to Taiwan, so it should be recognized as an exiled government. Both Chiangs believed that the ROC represented all China, but after the passing of their dynasty, the public elected Lee [Teng-hui (李登輝)] as president and he revised it to the ROC on Taiwan.
Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) then said that the ROC is Taiwan, but his successor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said the ROC owns Taiwan. It looks as if Taiwan is closely related to the ROC, and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has even said that Taiwan is the ROC and the ROC is Taiwan.
Is this true? If it were, then how could Taiwan reject the “one China” principle?
Fortunately, it is not true. Taiwan is not the ROC and the ROC is not Taiwan, because Taiwan has never been listed in the ROC constitution and there is no legal document to prove that the ROC has sovereignty over Taiwan.
After World War II, Japan renounced all rights, titles and claims to Formosa and the Pescadores Islands in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, giving nobody sovereignty over Taiwan.
The US Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act to safeguard Taiwan and former US president Ronald Reagan orally made six assurances to Taiwan in 1982, which were reaffirmed by the US Department of State on Feb. 14, 2003, and by the Republican National Committee on July 18, 2016.
“We oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Straits on the principle that all issues regarding the island’s future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China were to violate those principles, the United States, in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself,” the committee said.
Under the Taiwan Relations Act, Taiwan today is not a sovereign nation yet, but a governing authority. The illusionary title “ROC” has misled Taiwanese to believe it is a sovereign nation and that Taiwan is an independent sovereign country. Unfortunately, it is not, and that is why Taiwan is not a UN member.
How can we make Taiwan a great country, as both Lee and Chen wanted? There are of course a lot of things to do to achieve that goal, but one thing is for sure: We must leave the ROC behind, for it has always trapped Taiwan in the “one China” arena threatened by Communist China.
In November last year, a man struck a woman with a steel bar and killed her outside a hospital in China’s Fujian Province. Later, he justified his actions to the police by saying that he attacked her because she was small and alone, and he was venting his anger after a dispute with a colleague. To the casual observer, it could be seen as another case of an angry man gone mad for a moment, but on closer inspection, it reflects the sad side of a society long brutalized by violent political struggles triggered by crude Leninism and Maoism. Starting
The year 2020 will go down in history. Certainly, if for nothing else, it will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing impact it has had on the world. All nations have had to deal with it; none escaped. As a virus, COVID-19 has known no bounds. It has no agenda or ideology; it champions no cause. There is no way to bully it, gaslight it or bargain with it. Impervious to any hype, posturing, propaganda or commands, it ignores such and simply attacks. All nations, big or small, are on a level playing field
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Saturday that the US was to drop self-imposed restrictions on meetings between senior Taiwanese and US officials had immediate real-world effects. On Monday, US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra met Representative to the Netherlands Chen Hsing-hsing (陳欣新) at the US embassy in The Hague, with both noting on social media the historic nature of this seemingly modest event. Modest perhaps, but their meeting would have been impossible before Pompeo’s announcement. Some have welcomed this move, thinking that it is long-overdue and a step in the right direction to normalizing relations between
The US last week took action to remove most of the diplomatic red tape around US-Taiwan relations. While there have been adjustments in State Department “Guidelines on Relations with Taiwan” and other guidance before, no administration has ever so thoroughly dispensed with them. It is a step in the right direction. Of course, when there is a policy of formally recognizing one government (the People’s Republic of China or PRC) and not another (the Republic of China or ROC), officials from the top of government down need a systematic way of operationalizing the distinction. They cannot just make it up as