National Taiwan University law professor Chiang Huang-chih (姜皇池) on Tuesday warned of the serious damage that could result from signing a peace accord with China, saying that doing so is not in Taiwan’s interests.
The international law expert said in an interview that signing a cross-strait peace accord would be tantamount to accepting that Taiwan is part of China, which could lead to US arms sales being considered interference in China’s internal affairs and thereby undermine the international legitimacy of such sales.
US lawmakers passed the Taiwan Relations Act to supply arms to Taiwan in 1979, the same year that Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing.
Agreements and treaties are signed by sovereign nations and are considered legally binding in terms of international law, while peace accords are signed by parties to a war within a state, thereby falling under the category of domestic law, Chiang said.
If the two sides were to sign a peace accord, it would imply that Taipei acknowledges that current cross-strait relations are a continuation of the Chinese Civil War between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), he said.
By extension, that would make it an internal political matter for China, leading to the acknowledgment that Taiwan is part of China, he added.
In the event of armed conflict between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, any country that intervened would risk contravening international law, so international organizations would only become involved if the conflict resulted in serious casualties, a humanitarian crisis, or threatened regional peace and security, Chiang said.
In addition, there is no guarantee that signing a peace accord with China would help Taiwan avoid a war, he said, adding that the ceasefire agreement signed in 1946 by the KMT and the CCP failed to end the civil war.
It is important to consider whether a peace accord would really meet the needs of Taiwanese, Raymond Sung (宋承恩), an international law academic and deputy executive at the Taiwan New Constitution Foundation, said on Monday.
Sung also questioned the necessity of signing a peace accord.
The threat to peace in Taiwan comes from the other side of the Taiwan Strait, he said.
Beijing should stop threatening Taipei with its military, which could be achieved without signing any agreement, he added.
Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations is more important than a peace accord at this moment, Sung said.
The academics’ comments came after KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) on Thursday last week said that the KMT would consider signing a peace accord with Beijing if it regains the presidency next year.
Taiwan should not sign a peace accord with China, as it is the least friendly nation toward Taiwan, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said on Tuesday.
Taiwanese have great doubts about a peace accord with China, especially after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) spoke about unification based on the “one country, two systems” model, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said.
A bill to subject any peace accord with China to a referendum was one of 47 bills the Democratic Progressive Party on Monday agreed to prioritize for review during the legislative session, which began on Friday last week.
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