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Advocates clarify proof of sovereignty

Mon, Sep 09, 2013 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and President Ma Ying-jeou's repeated citing of the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration as proof that Taiwan's sovereignty belongs to the Republic of China (ROC) ignores the historical context of those documents and the development of international status, pro-independence advocates said yesterday.

"Taiwan's status under international law should be based on the Treaty of San Francisco, in which Japan renounced its sovereignty over Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores (Penghu), but never said which country Taiwan belonged to," former Academia Historica president Chang Yen-hsien told a seminar held to revisit the treaty signed in 1951.

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was invited to join then-US president Franklin Roosevelt and then-British prime minister Winston Churchill in Cairo, where the clause that proposed to return Taiwan and the Pescadores to the ROC was added to the declaration to force Chiang Kai-shek to "stay in the battle" because he was said to be considering signing a peace treaty with Japan at the time, Chang Yen-hsien said.

If Chiang Kai-shek had done so, it would have created pressure on the Allied forces which were fighting Germany in Europe because Japanese troops could have joined the European battlegrounds, he added.

While the Potsdam Declaration used the same rhetoric of the Cairo Declaration in terms of Taiwan's future, they were wartime documents and when the Korean War broke out, then-US president Harry Truman was forced to reconsider Taiwan's status, which he later said remained undetermined, Chang added.

Ma's citing of those documents fails to address the changing international political dynamics and the fact that Japan has never transferred Taiwan's sovereignty to any country, Chang added.

Historian Lee Hsiao-feng said that the US and UK expressed opposition in 1946 to the KMT regime’s unilateral decision to "restore ROC nationality in Taiwan" because the Chiang Kai-shek administration was only performing a UN order for a temporary military occupation of Taiwan.

Correction: General Order No. 1 of Sept. 2, 1945, was issued by General Douglas MacArthur, not by the United Nations. General MacArthur had a dual role as Supreme Commander of both the Allied military forces and the US military forces.

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