Relationship Versus Territory

Unofficial Relations:

During what was still the Presidential campaign, Barack Obama stated that the U.S. should respond by “rebuilding a relationship of trust and support” with democratic Taiwan.

(Photo, courtesy of daylife)  A photo shows the front pages of the major newspapers in Beijing on 6 November, 2008 showing US president-elect Barack Obama winning the US election. China urged Obama to oppose independence for Taiwan, saying that the proper handling of the issue was key to good relations between Beijing and Washington.
(Photo, courtesy of daylife) A photo shows the front pages of the major newspapers in Beijing on 6 November, 2008 showing US president-elect Barack Obama winning the US election. China urged Obama to oppose independence for Taiwan, saying that the proper handling of the issue was key to good relations between Beijing and Washington.

“The U.S. should reopen blocked channels of communication with Taiwan officials,” Obama said.

What is stopping him?

The State Department had issued a set of Taiwan guidelines, or the “Taiwan Relations Act of 1979” was when US ended diplomatic relations with Taiwan, in place of China.  Since that point, Taiwan has taken onto its own and transformed itself from an authoritarian regime (comparable to how China remains today), and into a vibrant, representative democracy with a blooming market economy, shooting off into the world markets.  It has become a country whose representatives are accessible to communication directly with their counterparts in Washington, DC, but who as well should be welcomed into the United States for official visits.

The Bush Administration has continuously undermined American support for democracy abroad through expanding and re-issuing the guidelines in 2008.  For example, heavy weight Taiwanese officials, such as the President of Taiwan, are barred from visiting the US capital.  However on the same note, China’s Presidential campaigners have been welcomed through the doors of the White House with inviting arms.

Another rule blocks the US embassy personnel from accepting invitations to official Taiwanese hosted functions, nor functions held in Taiwan, i.e.  Furthermore, there is presently a ban on communication: U.S. officials are not allowed to communicate directly with their counterparts in Taiwan, but through mail via a reliable third party.

What the President Says:

On Monday, February 9, President Ma Ying-Jeou stated that Taiwan is no longer liable for the United States, as recent relations with China have contributed to “peace and stability” in the region with proven results of liberalization in trade and commerce.

(Photo, courtesy of BBC News)  Mr Ma wants to improve trade and transport ties with China.
(Photo, courtesy of BBC News) Mr Ma wants to improve trade and transport ties with China.

In praising the benefits on the accomplishments in the Cross Trait ties, Ma said that the US government has approved arms sales to Taiwan in September 2008 in assisting Taiwan’s determination to be a problem solver (defense) instead of a problem-maker with China.

“At a time when the situation in the Korean Peninsula is worsening, the improvement in cross-Taiwan Strait ties with China has significantly reduced the burden of the United States in the region,” Ma said.

Ma explains that the launching of ‘direct sea and air links‘ will lead to improvements in Taiwan’s investment environment and meanwhile boost the local economic development and competitiveness (such as construction, electronics and agriculture).

Lowering tensions with China holds another potential for Taiwan: the relationship allows Taiwan to advance in a greater active role within the international arena, as have recently been admitted to the World Trade Organization‘s (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) , and the World Health Organization‘s (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR).

100 Taiwanese:

Nearly 100 Taiwanese residing in the US, have gathered at the Court of Appeals in Washington DC on Thursday, February 5.  The people came to listen on the lawsuit proceedings brought by Roger C. S. Lin (林志昇) aimed at finalizing whether the US is continuing Taiwan’s principal occupying power, and if the Taiwanese are due right to obtain US passports from the government.

(Photo, courtesy of daylife)  Taiwan demonstrators raise a Taiwan Republic flag during a flag raising ceremony sponsored by the pro-independence Taiwan Republic Movement in front of the President Office, Monday, Sept. 8, 2008, in Taipei, Taiwan. The group has campaigned to declare September 8 Taiwans independence day to mark the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, under which Japan renounced its 50-year colonial rule of the island.
(Photo, courtesy of daylife) Taiwan demonstrators raise a “Taiwan Republic” flag during a flag raising ceremony sponsored by the pro-independence Taiwan Republic Movement in front of the President Office, Monday, Sept. 8, 2008, in Taipei, Taiwan. The group has campaigned to declare September 8 Taiwan’s independence day to mark the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, under which Japan renounced its 50-year colonial rule of the island.

December 2006, Lin introduced Charles Camp to represent the case and cited the fact that Japan turned over their authority [over Taiwan and the Pescadores] upon surrender from World War II, however did not include Taiwan’s sovereignty rights to China.  He continues in mentioning of the San Francisco Peace Treaty: it is not related to the sovereignty of Taiwan and the Pescadores; the US continues to hold as Taiwan’s financial and economic leader.

Results came in.  Lin and the Taiwanese Americans requested that the US government investigate as to what rights the Taiwanese have.  Are the Taiwanese dued a US passport, based on the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the US Constitution?

When the lawsuit was first assessed in Washington, Judge Rosemary Collyer finalized, ruling in favor of the US government: Collyer said that courts do not involve themselves with in political matters, the US’ administrative departments have taken measures to prolong comments on Taiwan’s status for years.  This holds as a brick wall on deciding the rights as would be disrespectful to other administrative departments.

From the hearing, former Judicial Yuan Vice President, Cheng Chung-Mo(城仲模), represents the plaintiffs, and an assistant representing US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, appeared before the court.

The attended filled all 85 seats of the court, while many others crowded through the outside doors of the courtroom.  The hearing began with the three judges asking questions concerned with sovereignty and political issues.

At the end of the trial, the Taiwanese surrounded Camp, eager to discuss why Taiwan’s international status has been delayed and left undefined.  In the questioning, he received a book, “Formosa Betrayed” by former US diplomat, George Kerr, to gain depth in Taiwan’s history.  It may be too late.  (Kerr has written an interesting document titled, “A Taste of Freedom.”)

Apart from the political stance in the case, Melissa Patterson, representative of the US government, explains that legal documents (such as the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the US and China and the Taiwan Relations Act) overthrew the ­ruling on Taiwan’s sovereignty, as referred to the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

The judge expressed doubt if the US legally holds the rights to the sovereignty of Taiwan, in declaration of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

In a press conference, sponsored by the National Press Club, Cheng said that according to international legal procedure, it is mandatory that the US is involved in solving Taiwan’s issues.  Cheng, actively behind this lawsuit, said that if need be, he would take the case to the US Supreme Court.
Clearly Unclear:

The burning of an US passport.
(Photo, courtesy of guardian.co.uk) Protest: The burning of an US passport.

Cristy Li, a long supporter of Taiwan Independence and with background in law, offers to clear the clog of myths to the question: Can US protect the Taiwanese by authorizing the citizens with US passports as the British have with Hong Kong citizens (UK passports), and the Portuguese with citizens of Macau (EU passports)?

Is TW a USA Territory?

No—why…

Been thinking about that case where some Taiwanese USA Passports—I think they will lose in the end.

Taiwanese entering the USA would not need passports if TW was a USA Territory— I can fly to Puerto Rico, Guam or American Sonoma Islands without a passport—all the people living there are USA citizens.

You have answered the question yourself—you have said that you want to become a TW citizen.  If TW was a USA territory you could not become a citizen of a country your already a citizen of.”

I can’t become a citizen of Puerto Rico because Puerto Rico is the USA.  I could become a resident by simply living there, just as I could equally, of Guam or Hawaii by living there.

All the USA territories are represented in the US Congress and at both political conventions, the people on USA territories vote in the primary elections for President—Taiwanese do not have a Representative in the US Congress nor do they cast ballots in the USA primary elections for President.

Is TW a USA territory?  I don’t believe the Court’s will agree on that subject.  My opinion and .10 cents won’t buy a bad cup of coffee.”

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~ by Lan on 2008 TueUTC2009-02-10T17:39:55+00:00. 15.

4 Responses to “Relationship Versus Territory”

  1. It is strange that George Bush insisted on democracy for Iraq, who never asked for it, but refused to recognize Taiwan. What was the difference? Could it be vast oil reserves?

    The prerequisite for the U.S. helping any country achieve should be the desire of those people to self-govern independently of any outside influence. The citizens of Taiwan have certainly displayed that quality.

  2. The court documents of Nov. 3 and Dec. 17, 2008, are worth reading. According to the extensive documentation provided to the court, Taiwan was sovereign Japanese territory until the coming into force of the post-war San Francisco Peace Treaty on April 28, 1952, and in that treaty, the sovereignty of Taiwan was not awarded to China.

    Hence, the legal record is very clear that Taiwan is not Chinese territory. More details and background information are at http://www.civil-taiwan.org/usca.htm

  3. I greatly appreciate your comment and insight. There are not many people, including much of the Taiwanese people, who are aware that Taiwan was never included in the surrender of Japanese territories to china.

    I wonder, how this will effect the current Taiwan-China and Taiwan-Japan relations.

    Thanks again for your comment, please feel free to visit often as I do update frequently. However, wordpress.com has notified me that there will be a code-change, in effect as of tomorrow. If there are any errors in the page, please bear with the construction, all should resume back to normal shortly.

    Many Thanks,
    Lan

  4. A full explanation of “Modern Taiwanese History” and the “Historical Development of the Legal Status of the ROC on Taiwan” are given at http://www.taiwanbasic.com/civil/

    This compilation of information is based on the legal and historical record, however it differs markedly from the biased versions promulgated by the KMT/ROC and PRC regimes.

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