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Amb. Chen Rebuts Argument of Sovereignty in Washington


Amb. Chen Rebuts Argument of Sovereignty in Washington

Source: Want Daily

Oct. 19, 2012

It has been mistakenly argued that sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands and Taiwan was undetermined because that the San Francisco Peace Treaty did not mention the issue. Ambassador Stephen S.F. Chen (陳錫蕃), National Policy Advisor to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and former representative of the Republic of China to the United States, straightforwardly refuted that such point of view deliberately omitted the separate peace treaty signed between the Republic of China and Japan in 1952, adding that those who say so should study history deeper.

During a symposium titled “Taiwan’s Approach to Escalating Sovereignty Disputes in East Asia,” sponsored by the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) on October 17th, an attendee stated in the Q&A session that the San Francisco Peace Treaty did not name the beneficiary of the transfer of sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu, but only mentioned that Japan had renounced its sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu. He said, therefore, sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, Taiwan and Penghu remained undetermined.

Chen responded by saying that those who said so had deliberately omitted the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty signed in 1952 following the San Francisco Peace Treaty. He added that according to Article 4 of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty, all treaties signed between China and Japan before December 9, 1941, became null and void as a result of war. These treaties, of course, included the Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed in 1895. Therefore, Chen continued, sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu along with Diaoyutai as a subsidiary island of Taiwan, should be reverted to the Republic of China, the successor state of the Manchu Dynasty.

Chen pointed out to the media after the symposium that the reason the Treaty of San Francisco did not proclaim in writing to whom Taiwan would be returned was very simple, i.e., China was not represented at the peace conference. He went on to say that China had been divided in two parts at that time. Although the US wanted to invite the ROC government to the peace conference, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and India had recognized the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China, so they opposed allowing Taipei authorities to represent China at the peace conference. Later, the US helped the ROC to sign a separate peace treaty in the name of China with Japan.

The senior ROC diplomat went on to explain that since the Treaty of Shimonoseki became null and void, Taiwan should have been returned to its original owner, the Manchu Dynasty, but the Manchu Dynasty had been overthrown, and its successor state was the Republic of China. Therefore, Japan had, and did, return Taiwan to the Republic of China.

To watch the complete symposium, please visit the CSIS webpage: http://csis.org/multimedia/video-taiwans-approach-escalating-sovereignty-disputes-east-asia

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