Today’s letters to the editor’s section of the Taipei Times has this translated piece Taiwan’s history has no place in US courts, after reading it through I couldn’t quite agree with the way the author wanted his message heard. Fortunately, I found the original Chinese language piece to read also, and I also read another related Chinese piece. I don’t know if it was due to the lack of space on the newspaper or any other reasons, I just don’t know if it was such a good idea to cut-off some of the author’s words in a translated piece.
The following is the comparison of the original to the translation from a paragraph of the piece:
The Taipei Times's translation:
While the US recognized and supported the ROC government in exile on Taiwan, at major times such as 1954, 1971, 2004 and 2007, US officials reiterated that the status of Taiwan and the Pescadores (Penghu) was yet to be determined. (my note: in fact "undetermined" status means they (Taiwan and Penghu) do not belong to China, it was a crucial phrase here in the original piece but was either not translated out or being omitted by the editor)
Why would they have made these comments if Taiwan really was an unincorporated territory under USMG? (my note: This whole sentence was not in the original text, but was added to explain the meaning of “undetermined”, and I think by omitting the above phrase and by adding this sentence to explain the meaning of “undetermined” is not very fair to the author)
Also, why has the US not dared to refer to our government as the ROC “government” and simply addressing it as the ROC ever since the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) took effect in 1979? (my note: another missing phrase here is the "has not been recognized since 1979")
We have to understand the issue of Taiwan’s status in light of the abovementioned background. The Resolution on Taiwan’s Future ratified by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 1999 posed new directions for Taiwan’s future and this was closely linked with democratization and localization actions taken by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in the 1990s. However, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) current line is in complete contradiction with Lee-era policies and there really is now a definite need for things to be clearly reviewed and new “resolutions” to be made.
I have some thoughts to share derived from reading this piece.
All we can see is that the US court does not want to give a ruling involving US foreign policy as it has no jurisdiction over a matter that is to be determined by the US executive branch, but the US (and all the other countries in the world except the KMT-ROC) had never recognized the transfer of sovereignty of Formosa from Japan to ROC. They have an intention to settle the status of Formosa pending on the outcome of the Chinese Civil War. But in the meantime, as Taiwanese opposed the KMT’s dictatorial rule and the Taiwanese nationalism evolved, local residents’ rights as guaranteed by the UDHR will have to be respected.
Unfortunately, this simple rejection of US Supreme Court to review the previous court ruling of lack of jurisdiction is being taken by the KMT-ROC as US recognizing ROC’s sovereignty over Formosa, and therefore in active pursuit of charging Lin and Chen with treason. That is just too much!
The US must react to this latest judicial nonsense, otherwise, many people in Taiwan doing research towards Taiwan’s legal status will be easily charged with treason by the biased KMT-ROC kangaroo court as long as one does not recognize the ROC’s sovereignty over Taiwan. The KMT-ROC is scared only of the US, I wonder why (a hidden boss?). It is OK for the US officials to say that ROC is not a country or ROC has no sovereignty over Taiwan, but it is not OK for the Japanese representative to say so, the KMT legislators want the Ma administration to evict the current Japanese representative, and worse, the Taiwanese residents are definitely not allowed to say so, they will be charged with treason when ironically the people who deserve this in public opinion would have to be only people like Ma Ying-jeou and Lien Chan etc.
After the war, the Allied did send the KMT-ROC to administer Formosa, but as early as 1947, there were signs of discontent (actually the discontent was building-up long before Feb. 28, 1947) by Formosan residents on the KMT administrator’s corruption and its discrimination against local residents, but the problem was not addressed immediately. The US supported the Chiang Kai-shek and ignored the discontent simply because he was an ally who fought communism.
It’s too late to reverse the history, and too late to comfort those families who lost their loved ones from executions by dictator Chiang during Taiwan’s White Terror, but it is never too late to speak-up for one’s conscience now and to support the rights of Taiwanese as guaranteed by the UDHR. Taiwanese has rights to a nationality of their choice, and since there is no longer a Chinese Civil War, those mainlanders who prefer to go back to embrace their original motherland are free to go, and the other mainlanders who wish to become Taiwanese citizens are free to stay, but forcing all Taiwanese to become Chinese citizens ( either no-longer recognized ROC citizens, or CCP-PRC citizens) is totally unacceptable.
Contrary to its founding principle, the US government has ignored human rights of others while putting priority on its US national and international interests. As democracy and human rights developed in Taiwan and are in conflict with the US foreign interests, the human rights of Taiwanese have been ignored again and again. There is a consistent trail of betrayal of principle.
Not to repeat myself on the Taiwanese rights to a nationality of their choice, it is inevitable that a referendum must be held by Taiwan’s residence to resolve the future status of Taiwan. It is not like what the US says that as long as it is resolved peacefully between the people on two sides of the Strait, adding one condition that the US’s China policy does not support Taiwan independence to give a tilted favor obviously towards the evil human rights abuser, CCP-PRC.
I simply hope that countries especially those European ones listed here (15 out of 20 tops are in Europe) can soon vision that if the CCP-PRC government can threaten Taiwan with missiles now, and can even extend its influence onto Australian and German soil now, the CCP-PRC can be further encouraged to bully around the world soon.
So, Europeans, speak-up and support Taiwanese rights to a nationality of their choice through a referendum, no one should be removed off his rights guaranteed by the UDHR. No country should have its status stay undetermined for as long as more than half a century because it suits some other country’s strategic plan.
Cross-posted at the Talk Taiwan Blog.