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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Taiwan’s sole ruler is the public

Taiwan’s sole ruler is the public

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Chinese Youth Party member and modern Chinese historian Shen Yun-lung (沈雲龍), when he was teaching in the 1960s, always warned students that they could not believe anything written in history books after 1919 and the May Fourth Movement, and that he could not talk about anything that happened afterward.

The statement has two meanings. First, during the Martial Law era there was no academic freedom or freedom of expression; second, any analysis of important historical events after the May Fourth Movement — including the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the War of Resistance Against Japan and the Chinese Civil War — were deliberate fabrications and acts of obscurantism by the government.

Fifty years later, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was not brainwashed by the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) education system, said that during World War II, Taiwan and Japan were one nation, and that Taiwanese served in the Japanese military and thus did not fight against Japan. These words angered President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who was educated with KMT dogma.

The alien KMT regime went ballistic upon hearing this simple historical fact, because it exposed the KMT as a regime-in-exile that perpetuated the myth of a fictitious nation, which it used to brainwash the public with a fictitious history in an attempt to hide its true face. This is precisely the mentality that makes Ma move to the beat of China’s drum before he steps down. It can be seen in his arbitrary and non-transparent modification of the high-school history curriculum guidelines and in his competition with Beijing to take credit for the War of Resistance Against Japan.

Neither the KMT nor the CCP believe that Taiwan is a nation. They think it is a just a relic of the civil war. They are disconnected from historical truth: They twist the facts about the War of Resistance Against Japan, the Cairo Declaration and the so-called “retrocession” of Taiwan with the goal of misappropriating the nation’s sovereignty.

The War of Resistance Against Japan broke out because Japan invaded China. The KMT and the CCP were following their own plans; Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) led the war, while the CCP used it as an opportunity to grow stronger and later defeated the Nationalist regime in the Chinese Civil War. These are all facts accepted by Mao Zedong (毛澤東).

The main political motive of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) grand parade to celebrate the victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan was to assert the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the true successor to previous Chinese regimes. Former vice president Lien Chan’s (連戰) attendance at the parade was tantamount to acknowledging the legitimacy of Beijing’s victory celebrations for winning the War of Resistance Against Japan, and made it seem as if Ma — in Taiwan, which was a part of Japan during the war — did not have a leg to stand on when commemorating the end of the war.

The KMT’s announcement of victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan and the “retrocession of Taiwan,” which was marked as a holiday, was a deceitful, cosmetic exercise.

If “retrocession” means that Taiwan was freed from Japan’s yoke after the war, then it is a fact. According to the Supreme Allied Command Directive, Chiang accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in Taiwan on behalf of the Allied forces.

However, the directive also stipulated that the authorization to accept the surrender was just that: an authorization to accept the surrender and nothing else. Therefore, treating Taiwan’s “retrocession” as a return to China is a vicious distortion of the truth.

The so-called Cairo Declaration was a press announcement from the Cairo Conference issued by the leaders of three powers — the US, the UK and China. At most, it was a statement of intent during wartime. The San Francisco Peace Treaty was the formal agreement that ended the war. As the San Francisco Peace Treaty only stated that Japan renounced all rights to Taiwan and Penghu without saying anything about their future jurisdiction, both the KMT and the CCP have avoided talking about the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Instead, they hold on to the Cairo Declaration to prove that Taiwan had already been returned to China, using that as a basis for their claims to sovereignty over Taiwan.

The San Francisco Peace Treaty has never been amended and it has not expired, which means that from a legal perspective, Taiwan’s status has never been decided. In 1971, the US declared that its position was that Taiwan’s status was not decided. The CIA, in a compilation where the political situation of various countries are listed, describes Taiwan as “final status remains undecided.”

This is also caused by the ROC’s then-minister of foreign affairs Yang Hsi-kun (楊西崑), who said that he proposed to Chiang a plan to defend Taiwan after the PRC replaced the KMT government at the UN in 1971.

Yang suggested Taiwan should publicly demonstrate that it was not related to China by using a new government title: The Republic of Zhonghua Taiwan. The plan entailed that Zhonghua was just the name of the culture, with no political overtones, and that the new government should immediately dissolve the Legislative Yuan and establish a single legislative chamber as an interim parliamentary system.

In the suggested system, Taiwanese members would constitute two-thirds of the legislature and those from China would constitute one-third. The new Taiwanese government would then hold a referendum to decide the nation’s status.

The proposal had three inherent meanings. First, Taiwan’s status was undecided. Second, the alien KMT regime was in the minority, unfairly ruling the majority without ever having held an election. Third, Taiwanese had the right to hold a referendum to decide their future.

After democratization, the problem of a foreign minority ruling the majority has been resolved through Lee’s reforms and fairly contested elections. The question of referendum either has not yet come up or is already indirectly in progress through general elections. The issue of Taiwan’s status, due to the alien KMT echoing China’s claims, remains an undecided controversy.

The CCP considers itself to have ownership of Taiwan because of the Cairo Declaration and because it won the civil war, which in its view made it the sole legal government of China. The KMT’s “Republic of China” also relies on the Cairo Declaration as a provision for its long-term rule and claims sovereignty over Taiwan.

However, those most qualified to claim sovereignty over Taiwan are Taiwanese. On the basis that Japan renounced sovereignty over Taiwan in the San Francisco Peace Treaty and through self-determination of Taiwanese, they themselves advocate that the nation’s sovereignty is its own.

Seventy years ago, the dogs left and the pigs arrived, as Lee put it in his recent book. Taiwan was free of Japan’s yoke, but was then occupied by the alien KMT regime. Ma restored the KMT regime and strengthened the concept of “one China,” thus blocking the true retrocession of Taiwan.

Taiwanese must rely on themselves to make this alien regime history.

James Wang is a senior journalist.

Translated by Clare Lear

Source: Taipei Times - 2015/09/21

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