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Taiwan's status still undetermined

Sat, Feb 27, 2010 - Page 8

On Aug. 31, 1993, the Chinese government published a white paper titled The Taiwan Question and Unification of China, which was made available in seven languages at the same time. The white paper repeated China’s old tricks of altering Taiwan’s history and making twisted interpretations of international law, claiming that "Taiwan has belonged to China since ancient times."

The Taiwan Association of University Professors responded by assembling a group of historians and experts in politics and law, who together wrote a book titled Peaceful Coexistence: Two Countries, Two Systems -- The fundamental view of the Taiwan people regarding the relationship between Taiwan and China, which was published in Chinese and English versions in 1994.

The historical part of the book refutes the claims of China’s white paper by quoting the following passage from the Qing Dynasty Chronicle of the Yung-cheng Emperor: "Taiwan, historically not part of China, was conquered and became Qing territory under the great power of the Kangxi Emperor."

Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that, although Taiwan was "historically not part of China," it was incorporated into China’s territory during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor, and was ruled by the Qing until it was ceded to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895.

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My second point is that in recent years, quite a lot of pro-Taiwan figures have said that the Cairo Declaration, signed at the Cairo Conference in 1943, has no authority, and they draw various conclusions based on that idea.

However, following the end of World War II, Republic of China (ROC) dictator Chiang Kai-shek, acting on instructions from the Allied Forces, sent Chinese armed forces to occupy Taiwan and Penghu. Chiang’s officials determined the nationality of Taiwan’s inhabitants without consulting other Allied countries.

Not long afterward, Chiang evacuated his central government into exile on Taiwan. Despite its status as principal occupying power in the Pacific, the US did nothing to stop this from happening.

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