The True Legal Status of Taiwan 

By Dr. Sim Kiantek 
July 18, 2000


What China Said in Its One China White Paper 2000

     The Chinese White Paper on Cross Strait Relations (issued on February 21, 2000) stressed that Taiwan belonged to China on the following basis which are not true:
“I. The Basis for One China, de Facto and de Jure. 
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. All the facts and laws about Taiwan prove that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. 

     In April 1895, through a war of aggression against China, Japan forced the Qing (Ching) government to sign the unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, and forcibly occupied Taiwan. In July 1937, Japan launched an all-out war of aggression against China. In December 1941, the Chinese government issued the Proclamation of China's Declaration of War Against Japan, announcing to the world that all treaties, agreements and contracts concerning Sino-Japanese relations, including the Treaty of Shimonoseki, had been abrogated, and that China would recover Taiwan. In December 1943, the Cairo Declaration was issued by the Chinese, U.S. and British governments, stipulating that Japan should return to China all the territories it had stolen from the Chinese, including Northeast China, Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago. The Potsdam Proclamation signed by China, the United States and Britain in 1945 (later adhered to by the Soviet Union) stipulated that "The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out." In August of that year, Japan declared surrender and promised in its instrument of surrender that it would faithfully fulfill the obligations laid down in the Potsdam Proclamation. On October 25, 1945, the Chinese government recovered Taiwan and the Penghu Archipelago, resuming the exercise of sovereignty over Taiwan.” 

What Is The Truth 

     The Legal Status of Formosa (Taiwan) Is Independent
Historically, Taiwan belongs to Taiwanese people as said above, all regimes appeared in the history of this island so far are predators. 

     Taiwan is neither a part of Qing or the Republic of China nor a part of Dutch or Japan. Legally, Taiwan independence was determined in 1945 by the United Nations by adopting Charters 77 and 76, which was signed by China and most of the states in the world. The basic document China used to claim the title of Taiwan was the so-called Cairo Declaration, but it was not signed. Even if it were singed, the phrase “Formosa and the Pescadores shall be restored to the Republic of China” was completely against the Atlantic Charter signed by China itself, So, both in history and by law, China’s claims are void. That Taiwan is a part of China is nothing but an excuse for China to invade Taiwan. All the legal documents and events related are presented and summarized with comments below:

     1. The Atlantic Charter(1941.8.14):
a. First, the Charter announced that “ their countries seek no   
    aggrandizement, territorial or other.” China’s annexation of 
    Formosa (Taiwan) is obviously a territorial aggrandizement. 
b. Second, the Charter said that “they declare to see no territorial 
    changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the 
    people concerned.” Therefore, should Formosa be “restored” 
    to China as China claimed, the people of Formosa should be 
    consulted, so far there is no such consultation made. 
c.Third, “they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of 
   government under which they will live, and they wish to see 
   sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have 
   been forcibly deprived of them.” The so-called “restoration” of 
   Formosa to China does not respect the people of Formosa in the 
   sovereign right and the right of choosing government.
   This Charter was endorsed by China in the “Declaration by the 
   United Nations” below.

     2. Declaration by the United Nations (1942.1.1) declare “The Government signatory ( U.S., U.K., Soviet Union, China ……etc. total 26 countries) hereto, having subscribed to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter.” China is one of the signatories of the Declaration, claiming the sovereign right of Formosa is a violation of the Charter per se.

    3. The Cairo Conference (1943.11.22-26):
Records kept by Chinese Government showed that President Roosevelt, Premier Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek of China agreed that Japan should be stripped of all the islands she had seized or occupied in the Pacific, including Formosa and the Pescadores. The disposal of these islands was not determined at that time. The phrase “Formosa and the Pescadores shall be restored to the Republic of China” on the so-called Cairo Declaration was a unilateral request by Chiang Kai-shek, Churchill rejected and substituted the phrase with “Formosa and the Pescadores should be renounced by Japan” but Chiang insisted not to change, therefore the Declaration was not signed. So, the common purpose of the Cairo Conference is to strip of Japanese colonies (such as Formosa and the Pescadores) and occupations.

     4.The Crimea (Yalta) Conference (1945. 2.4-11): 
The future of Taiwan was partially determined in this Conference. Under the caption “Territorial Trusteeship” of “World Organizations” of Protocol Proceedings it read “its being made clear that territorial trusteeship will only apply to……(b) territories detached from the enemy as a result of the present war.”
According to this agreement, Formosa, the Pescadores, and other Japanese colonies should be placed under trusteeship after World War Two, because the Cairo Conference decided to strip them off from Japan which constituted a “detach of the colonies “from Japan.

     5. Charter of the United Nations Article 77 (1945.6.26) confirmed Crimea Agreement byregulating that “The trusteeship system shall apply to such territories as…b. territories which may be detatched from enemy states as a result of the Second World War.” This meant Taiwan should be put under trusteeship after the War.

     6.Charter of the United Nations Article 76 (1945.6.26) stipulated “the basic objectivesof the trusteeship system ……shall be to promote political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development towards self-government and independence.” China is to blame, since it is one of the signatories of the Charter, now back up from their words pursuing imperialism.
However, in this article 76, it confirmed that Formosa was entitled to be an independent state, and established the legal status for Taiwan.

     7.Postdam Proclamation (1945.7.26). The article 8 of it read “The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.”Since the terms of the Cairo Declaration was to strip all Japanese colonies such as Formosa and the Pescadores, and let them be detached from Japan, therefore, to carry out these terms equals to declare Formosa independence, according to Charters of the U.N. article 77 and 76 above. 

     8.Instrument of Surrender by Japan (1945.9.2)“accept the provisions set forth in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China, and Great Britain on 26 July 1945, at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers.” By accepting the Potsdam Proclamation, Japan actually announced Taiwan independence. Because the Proclamation requested Japan to give up Formosa, and according to articles 77 and 76 of Charters of the U.N., territories detached from the enemy (Japan) should be placed under trusteeship and then self-government and 

     9.San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan (1951.9.8), article 2(b) read “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores.”This is the legal confirmation of Formosa’s detach from Japan, and the Articles 76 & 77 of the Charters of the United Nations are applicable to Taiwan and the status of Taiwan should be independent, through Trusteeship and Self-government. 

     However, Chinese regime, the Republic of China, represented by Chiang Kai-shek took advantage of the General Order No.1 of the Ally Commander unlawfully occupied Taiwan while the Order only required him to accept the surrender of Japanese troops in Taiwan. The Republic of China occupied Taiwan by force since 1945 and started the notorious 1947 Massacre getting rid of Taiwanese elite so that nobody knew how to make petitions to the U.N. for independence, therefore the Taiwan independence process was interrupted till now.

     All U.N. members have the obligation to move to blame China for the aggression and admit Taiwan, not the Republic of China, as a member of the United Nations. .



Dr. Sim Kiantek formerly was an Associate Professor of National Taipei University.
Fax:08-753-6335 Address:21 Alley 67 Lane 165, Kong Hsing Road, Pingtung Taiwan

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