Members of the US Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees have begun to forcefully point out the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) decades-long misuse, misinterpretation and misleading analysis regarding UN Resolution 2758.
According to the view of PRC officialdom, beginning 50 years ago, on Oct. 25, 1971, the resolution clearly recognized that Taiwan is a part of China, and China is in charge of representing Taiwan before the UN, in accordance with the PRC’s “one China” principle.
In fact, Resolution 2758 has no such content. Indeed, the word Taiwan is not even mentioned therein.
Here in late October 2021, other members of the US House of Representatives have also made similar charges against PRC officials’ incorrect interpretation of this important resolution.
While US Congress members’ long-overdue attention to this matter is certainly praiseworthy, it is unfortunately true that the Chinese have a history of misuse, misinterpretation and misleading analysis regarding other important documents and events that go back even further than 50 years. The Japanese surrender ceremonies in Taiwan, held 75 years ago on Oct. 25, 1945, are one prominent example.
In the view of the PRC, along with many blue-camp supporters in Taiwan, an immediate transfer of Taiwan’s territorial sovereignty to China took place based on the Cairo Declaration of Dec. 1, 1943, the Potsdam Proclamation of July 26, 1945, and the ceremonies themselves.
Granted, during the pre-Napoleonic period, such territory was commonly considered to be “annexed” as soon as an overwhelming number of foreign military forces arrived on the scene. However, international law changed in the late 1700s to the early to mid-1800s.
In the 20th century, such an annexation interpretation directly contradicts the 1907 Hague Conventions and accompanying Hague Regulations. HR 42 specifically states that territory under the authority of foreign (i.e. hostile) military forces is considered to be under military occupation.
Scholars in laws of war confirm that “military occupation does not transfer sovereignty.”
Importantly, the validity of the Hague Conventions in dealing with laws of war was recognized by the Republic of China in May 1917.
Such evidence strongly suggests that there was no “Taiwan Retrocession Day.” Oct. 25, 1945, was merely the beginning of the military occupation of Taiwan.
Notably, in the Foreign Relations of the US series, the US Department of State has many entries confirming that there was no transfer of Taiwan’s territorial sovereignty to China in Oct. 1945.
An entry from January 1951 regarding Formosa states: “As one of the victor powers we have residual rights there until a Japanese peace treaty has been made. The Cairo declaration manifested our intention. It did not itself constitute a cession of territory.”
If this knowledge could be more widely disseminated in the global community, perhaps the question of whether Taiwan is truly a part of China could be resolved once and for all.
Tom Chang is secretary-general of the Taiwan Autonomy Foundation.
Ideas matter. They especially matter in world affairs. And in communist countries, it is communist ideas, not supreme leaders’ personality traits, that matter most. That is the reality in the People’s Republic of China. All Chinese communist leaders — from Mao Zedong (毛澤東) through Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), from Jiang Zemin (江澤民) and Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) through to Xi Jinping (習近平) — have always held two key ideas to be sacred and self-evident: first, that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is infallible, and second, that the Marxist-Leninist socialist system of governance is superior to every alternative. The ideological consistency by all CCP leaders,
The US on Friday hosted the second Global COVID-19 Summit, with at least 98 countries, including Taiwan, and regional alliances such as the G7, the G20, the African Union and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) attending. Washington is also leading a proposal to revise one of the most important documents in global health security — the International Health Regulations (IHR) — which are to be discussed during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) that starts on Sunday. These two actions highlight the US’ strategic move to dominate the global health agenda and return to the core of governance, with the WHA
Just as the cause of the Kursk submarine disaster remains shrouded in mystery — the nuclear-powered Russian submarine suffered an explosion during a naval exercise on Aug. 12, 2000, and sank, killing all 118 crew onboard — it is unlikely that we will ever get to the bottom of the sequence of events last month that led to the sinking of the Moskva guided missile cruiser, the flagship of the Russian navy’s Black Sea fleet. Ukraine claims it struck the vessel with two missiles, while Russia says ammunition onboard the ship exploded and the ship tipped over while being towed
The war in Ukraine continues, and lines are slowly being drawn in the sand. Nations have begun imposing sanctions; few can ignore the reality of Russia’s aggression and atrocities, especially as it edges to the possibility of making a full declaration of war. For Taiwan, this resurrects a different reality, the tangled web of its own complex past and how as a colony of Japan, it became involved with Russia, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Some role reversals are immediately evident. Taiwan is now an independent nation and the CCP rules China. The CCP indirectly