Sunday, February 19, 2017

关于台湾国族认同问题 - 回应刘乐妍

Taiwanese entertainer Fanny Liew wrote a piece about identity politics in Taiwan. She contended that Taiwanese and Chinese identity should not be at odds with each other. Her family fled to Taiwan with the Chinese Nationalist (KMT) regime to Taiwan at the conclusion of Chinese Civil War. I showed that her viewpoint is limited by her family background, and the island of Taiwan speaks a different narrative than hers.

There are currently three types of identities held by the population in Taiwan: Purely Taiwanese, both Taiwanese and Chinese, and purely Chinese. Each of these types of identification are characteristically distinct from each other, as it turned out from academic research.

您在2016年1月18日发表关于国族认同的文章我迟至2017年我方有机会阅读。过去一年里,我钻研了台湾国际地位与身份认同政治,开始时我一窍不通,到今天得以理性地回应您的文章,这可是个艰苦的过程。

您在文章提及家庭背景,您的祖辈参与第二次中日战争和国共内战,随着中国国民党逃到台湾的土地,并带着中国大陆的历史记忆在台湾此落地生根。我不难看出,您的家庭是典型的外省人。您在文中主张,台湾人和中国人的身份不需要对立。纯粹地以主观看待身份认同问题恰恰是您最大的盲点,因为许多事物乃大学问也。

我在此说明,台湾人的历史记忆各不同。本省人(包括原住民)的记忆有别于外省人。

本省人的历史记忆是什么?我就要从《马关条约》说起。台湾自从割让给日本后,退出了中国的历史舞台,而进入了日本的历史舞台。日治台湾的初期,本省人有武装的抗日运动,但全都被日本镇压了。从此,中国的历史不再追究台湾,可是台湾在日本的统治下继续发展。
每个人终究是历史的产物,造就他们今日对人物,乃至他国的态度。日治时期,实行总督制,台湾人成了二等公民。日本在台湾搞的建设,推行教育,大大提高台湾的文明水平,这些功劳是不容否认的。我了解,您的祖辈当初不敌共产党而到台湾,事实上本着日本留下的基础继续建设,也不会歌颂日本对台湾的所有贡献。

日治台湾的后期,搞了皇民化运动,教育台湾人取个日本名,学日文,效忠天皇,生活习惯与真正的日本人无异。日本当时搞皇民化的目的,无非就是从台湾征取兵力,以应付作战的需要。有者从日本得益,有者当了军夫为日本作战,而李登辉就是典型的例子。您可能不知道,1945年4月1日,天皇颁布了诏书,明治宪法全面在台湾实行。二战时期,有日本飞机从台湾起飞去攻击中国的目标,当日的中国也有参与空袭台湾的目标。您有听过台北大空袭这一事吗?历史课本怎么没写呢?

1945年10月25日,台湾重回中国的统治。中华民国宣称,台湾被 ”光复” 了,可是实际的性质,普通人都没搞清楚。须知,今日的国际法规定,拥有领土的实际统治不意味着拥有领土的法定主权。没有法定主权,又怎么有领土的实际统治呢?我知有两种方式,一是租借,二是军事占领。当时的中国接管台湾,是代表盟军进行军事占领,而台湾的主权并没有转移到中国那里。台湾的主权转移有待与日本签订和平条约,方才有效。

当时的本省人还有效的持有日本国籍。蒋介石派了国军统治台湾。受过日本教育的本省人当年对国军的印象如何?国军就是不守纪律的流氓!国民党随意印刷钞票,导致恶性通货膨胀,又加上台湾物资拿去资助国共内战,民不聊生。很不幸的,1947年爆发了228屠杀事件,有人死在 ”祖国“ 枪下,台湾对中国的幻想破灭了。

盟军还没解决台湾的归属,国民党就不敌共产党,逃到了台湾,成了个流亡政权。怎么说是流亡政权呢?就是政权的所在地不是它的主权领土。有人听了这话可能不高兴,但这可是国际法学说,外交人员的眼中,中华民国的真正国际地位。蒋介石曾沉痛地说道:“我们(中华民国人 / 外省人)今天都已成了亡国之民,……”

在1951年的对日和平条约《旧金山条约》,日本只被要求放弃对台湾的主权,而没有点名任何国家接收。如何解读这个合约条文也把专家弄得团团转,简单的说台湾的主权就是转到本省人手中,有待他们主张最终的归属。外省人是何人?他们就是真正的,法理的中国人。显然的,中国没有接到台湾的法定主权,时任中华民国外交部长叶公超已多次声明这一点。
接下来漫长的国民党威权时期,也就是两蒋时期,政府对台湾岛民实行了党国教育,教台湾人做中国人。我之前不是提了日本对台湾实行皇民化教育吗?党国教育和皇民化教育的性质根本无异!两者都是同化教育:一个教你做中国人,一个教你做日本人。

直到1980年代后期,台湾开始解禁,走向民主之路,实行与有别于中国大陆的社会制度,开创了台湾认同。

两幢事件,重创了台湾对中国的认同。一是1994年的千岛湖事件,再来是1996年随着总统直选的台湾海峡导弹危机。海峡导弹危机更使台湾认同大幅度上升,远远超过当时受教育的年轻人,去中国化和台湾本土化政策尚不足以解释此转变。试问,如果中国大陆是祖国,祖国会对人民做出这种事吗?

2000年成功实行政党轮替,台湾独立运动当道,起了巩固台湾认同的重要作用。2008年马英九主政时期开启的大三通,两岸人民接触频繁,越察觉彼此的差异,越加深台湾的单一认同。

今日,无论本省人或是外省人,两者纵然没有共同的记忆,却生活在台湾岛上,成了命运共同体。既然您在自由的台湾占有一席之地,您应该珍惜祖辈当年用生命捍卫三民主义,奠下台湾实行民主的基础。您的祖辈在中国大陆的战场上遇到的日本是敌人。可他们到达台湾时,台湾人印象中的日本是殖民者,他们没那么恨日本。还是多亏日本,国民党在台湾有立足之地,才赶得上台湾经济起飞。在国际关系里,敌友关系随着形势转变而易位。
如果说中国的历史是朝代更替的历史,台湾的历史就是一套殖民史。

由此可见,国家认同取决于各种客观的因素,包括历史和社会环境,并不是一张证件就足以定论的。各不同的历史记忆,不同世代的环境,也不断地重塑着身份的认同。国家认同,不只停留在一面旗帜,或是名词,它更体现着一套价值观,一套生活哲学。国家认同,对我作为外国人而言,是给予您定位的名字。我不反对您说 ”我是中国人“ 以反映您对中国的情结,可当别人说出单一的 “我是台湾人” 时,他不只说出对土地的认同,更要表达台湾有别于中国的历史经历。

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Why so serious about sovereignty of Taiwan?



I came across this interesting video of Taiwanese parliamentary debate. Over the issue of history syllabus to be implemented in Taiwan, legislator from Democratic Progressive Party Kuan Bi-ling posed questions to Taiwanese education minister Wu Si-hua. The debate took place on 3 March 2015.

I really like this video because it taught us an important lesson on State succession for China in the United Nations by explaining Resolution 2758 and the true nature of handover of Taiwan after World War 2.

Kuan began with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi's remark of People's Republic of China as the founding member of the United Nations. It caused a stir among ethnic Chinese in Taiwan, because the founding member of the UN was Republic of China. In 1971, Republic of China was replaced with People's Republic of China via Resolution 2758 of the United Nations General Assembly. Kuan mentioned one important keyword in the Resolution, that is "restore". With the Resolution, all rights and privileges of the Chinese seat was restored to the People's Republic of China and unlawful representatives of Chiang Kai Shek expelled from UN.

How can Wang Yi claim that his country founded the United Nations? Kuan said that Wang Yi is right, and ordinary people got it wrong. According to the Resolution, the personality of the ROC is being restored to the PRC. It not only restores the seat, but also restores the PRC to the status of being a founding the UN. In essence, the PRC is being "grafted" to the ROC, thus confirming the sovereignty of the ROC is being succeeded by the PRC. In terms of the United Nations, the Republic of China is the People's Republic of China and vice versa.

The next point of contention raised by Kuan is "Retrocession of Taiwan to Republic of China", intended to be taught in [Taiwanese] schools. This raised serious problems about factual accuracy.

On 25 October 1945, Chiang Kai Shek took over the administration of Taiwan from Japan. In reality, Chiang was conducting military occupation of Taiwan on behalf of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, and the Republic of China has yet to legally obtain sovereignty over Taiwan. Chiang told the truth to one of his subordinate, Chen Cheng about the true nature of his governance in Taiwan, that it was a trusteeship. An important principle in international law is that military occupation does not transfer sovereignty.

Kuan gave us very interesting discussion questions. Who was the founding member of the UN? Which country took over Taiwan from Japan through "retrocession"? The answers are the same, that is Republic of China, pointing to the same sovereign body. And since the ROC has been succeeded by the PRC, sovereignty over Taiwan is carried over to the PRC. Also given that ROC and the PRC refers to the same country, Wang Yi is right in the sense to refer ROC as his country.

Kuan pointed out about the factual inaccuracy of takeover of Taiwan. She objected that takeover of Taiwan was not depicted as "military occupation on behalf of the Allies" but rather "retrocession of Taiwan to the Republic of China" in history syllabus. That is to say, there was no transfer of sovereignty of Taiwan on 25 October 1945, but schoolchildren are being misled into believing that sovereignty of Taiwan went back to China.

Why has Kuan taken sovereignty of Taiwan very seriously? Any question of sovereignty is no joke because it concerns national security. If one accepts the notion that Taiwanese sovereignty was reverted to Republic of China, and given that ROC has been succeeded by the PRC, Taiwan will inevitably be part of the PRC. This gives a foothold for authoritarian China to lay claim on Taiwan.

Clearly, she understands that Taiwanese people do not want their hard earned democratic system to be compromised by China due to false description about sovereignty for Taiwan. It becomes important to deny that China has de jure sovereignty over Taiwan, and accurately describe that Chiang was conducting military occupation as an Allied Commander, or that Republic of China was merely an occupying power over Taiwan.

The Minister of Education responded that the country is founded upon the foundation of The Constitution of the Republic of China and Additional Articles to the Constitution. The DPP legislator immediately rebuked the minister for "not facing the truth".

What is the problem with the Minister's statement? Because we are not lawyers, we only have superficial understanding of Constitutions. Most of us only understand that our Constitution(s) represents our countries, but are ignorant about one important principles of law.

Constitutions are not merely written documents that has power in their own right. For a Constitution to have a life of its own, it must be supported by the power of the people. This principle is what we called constituent power. After all, the people constitute the law, hence the supreme law is called constitution. With the constituent power, comes the power to amend the Constitution.

The Constitution of the Republic of China is drafted to be implemented in Mainland China. With the defeat and relocation of Republic of China to Taiwan, what happened to the Constitution?

Words of the Constitution can be preserved, but the ROC Constitution is now dead. Because, the people have used their constituent power to overthrow the ROC Constitution and created the PRC Constitution as the new law for China. People of Taiwan were subjected to Japanese sovereignty, did not take part in drafting the ROC Constitution and hence have no constituent power for the law. Scholars who went into exile with Chiang Kai Shek told their government: Not a single word of the Constitution can be changed. In principle, since the constituent power has been lost, the Constitution cannot be cited to give legitimacy.

The ROC promulgated an executive order on 12 January 1946 to revert citizenship of Taiwanese inhabitants to Chinese. Since China was only an occupying power without sovereignty over Taiwan, such a conversion of citizenship constitute a war crime, and also in violation of nationality laws of the ROC at that time. One can figure that sovereignty of Taiwan remained with Japan from 1945 through to 1952, when the Treaty of San Francisco came into force.

The minister was ignorant about the fact that Taiwan is not included in the territory defined in the ROC Constitution. Implementing the ROC Constitution outside the sovereignty of China does not give the document a new life. The Additional Articles, although serving the purpose to govern Taiwan as a government-in-exile, are in fact unauthorized insertions done by people holding no constituent power. Without power that comes from the rightful people, the ROC Constitution is only a zombie.



Monday, February 6, 2017

Vivian Hsu 徐若瑄 tearfully responded to China-Taiwan spat at Tokyo Film Festival 2010


It seems that China is not sparing entertainment from its enforcement of One China Principle and “both sides of the Taiwan Strait belongs to One China”, leading to a spat between Chinese and Taiwanese delegations at Tokyo Film Festival.

At the Tokyo Film Festival, the Chinese delegation demanded that the Taiwanese delegation to register at the film festival under the name “Taiwan, China” and that Taiwan enter the red carpet as part of the Chinese delegation. The demand was presented at the last minute of the event. Of course, this was refused by the Taiwanese delegation.

In response, the head of Chinese delegation taunted rudely.

As the matter could not be resolved, the organiser decided to bar both delegations from attending the red carpet. In the press conference that followed, Vivian Hsu tearfully declared that “I am Taiwanese and not a Chinese.”

China regained governance of Taiwan from Japan after World War II, followed by a civil war that led the retreat of Chinese Nationalists to Taiwan in 1949. The peace treaty with Japan concluded in 1951 did not hand Taiwan to any country. Democratisation instituted by Taiwanese President Lee Teng Hui led to distinct social and political environment on the self-governed island, leading to the evolution of separate national identities on China and Taiwan. Separate identities is further consolidated as China rises as a global power.

People’s Republic of China has insisted on the One China Principle for diplomatic relations and opposes policies that lead to separate Chinese and Taiwanese identities, such as “One China, One Taiwan” and “Taiwan Independence”.

In Taiwan, people with singular identification of being Taiwanese are on the rise, becoming more prevalent among the younger generation. Dual identification is declining, and singular identification of being Chinese is only a small minority.

Identity politics is going to affect cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Strait. Judging from the incident, it seemed that Beijing is intolerant of identity politics in all dealings with Taiwan.



Do you hear that?
Head of delegation: The Chinese delegation is the sole representative of China in the film festival. The Taiwan delegation is part of the Chinese delegation.

We can see shitty attitude of the female interpreter from Mainland China:



Female interpreter: You are Taiwan, China!
Head of Taiwan delegation: I am not.
Female interpreter: Are you Chinese?
Head of Taiwan delegation: I am Taiwanese.
Female interpreter: You are a Chinese!
Head of Taiwan delegation: There is no need for this. Don't force me to give in with your mob!

This is how Taiwan Affairs Office of Mainland China responded to the Tokyo Film Festival spat:



Spokesman: The spat may have been caused by lack of communication between two sides. Both sides should refrain from unnecessary conflicts in international settings.

The Taiwan Affairs Office dared not criticise Chinese citizens. Really? It was Mainland China who provoked the Taiwan delegation. The blame should be on the Chinese delegation.



Friday, January 13, 2017

What is the difference between Taiwan and Republic of China?

Scratching on the surface, it seems that the Republic of China equals Taiwan, and the Republic of China currently represents Taiwan. Many people claim that Republic of China is the official name for Taiwan.

The confusion and mixing up of Taiwan and Republic of China continues until this day. Isn't this puzzling considering that Taiwan is calling itself Republic of China? Why isn't Taiwan calling itself with an official name that refers to itself, but a neighbouring country?


There is a bit of history involved in this. I must bring up the matter of Chinese Civil War, because it created the unique scene today. The Republic of China was founded by the Chinese Nationalist Party, and the Chinese Communist Party was formed some time after. War erupted between the Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communist over the system of government to be implemented in China. The Nationalists wanted a constitutional republic but the Communists wanted to form a socialist republic. The Nationalists lost to the Communists and retreated to Taiwan, relocating their seat of government and bringing all national symbols (flag, official name, national anthem) with them. They rule over Taiwan and creates the impression that Taiwan and Republic of China are no different.

From our first impression, Taiwan equals to the Republic of China, and the Republic of China equals Taiwan. The flag with a sun on a blue sky, on a background of red represents Taiwan. There seems to be nothing wrong. Everything seem to be in their place, as we see from the outside.

But when I ask,
What is the Republic of China?
What is Taiwan?
Many think that both refer to the same thing.

But don't you think there's something wrong here? Does Republic of China refer to Taiwan, or China? Does Taiwan equate to being China?

At this point, most people can tell that Taiwan is not China. But there will be people defending that Republic of China is Taiwan. And insist that using the name "Republic of China" is nothing wrong, since it represents a country.

But when posed with the question,
Why Republic of China cannot join the United Nations? Why Taiwan cannot join the United Nations? 
Most people do not have a clear idea on the matter to answer this question. To answer this pressing question of international dignity, one needs background in international law, at the very least.

And most importantly,
Where does the Republic of China flag, or the so called Taiwanese flag, come from?
What hinders the return of Taiwan to the international community is the confusion between Taiwan and Republic of China. Learned experts are not confused, but the majority of laypeople are not able to differentiate the two names. Under the One China Principle, there can only be one government that represents China. The right to use the name of China, and the right to represent China is currently held by the People's Republic of China.

In order to find a way out for Taiwan, first the names must be precisely and unambiguously defined.

Taiwan Area as defined in the international peace treaties

Taiwan: An island located off the coast of East Asian continent. For a very precise delimitation, the area of Taiwan should be referred as the area ceded to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki and the same area detached from Japan in Treaty of San Francisco. The area of Taiwan includes (i) The island of Taiwan and other small islands associated with it, and (ii) The archipelago of Penghu, that is all islands lying between the 119th and 120th degrees of longitude east of Greenwich and the 23rd and 24th degrees of north latitude.

China: A unified country occupying a large area on the East Asian continent. It was ruled by dynasty over the course of history, and the territory of each dynasty is different. Her sovereign territory includes the Kinmen and Matsu Islands.

Now let us define "Republic of China" and "People's Republic of China". Are both the same?

Territory of the Republic of China upon its founding. Notice Taiwan is not its territory.
Republic of China: The republic in East Asia that was formed in 1911, after the overthrow of Qing Dynasty, ending thousands of years of imperial rule. This is the official name of the Chinese republic from 1911 to 1949. It's territory includes present-day Mongolia, and did not rule Taiwan for most of its time. It became a government-in-exile after the Chinese Nationalists lost the civil war with the Communists, and relocated to Taiwan.

Internationally recognised sovereign territory of People's Republic of China.

People's Republic of China: A socialist republic founded by the Chinese Communists after they defeated the Nationalists in a civil war. The official name of China after 1949.

Republic of China and People's Republic of China actually refers to the same country, that is China! The actual Republic of China is the republic from 1911 to 1949. These are two different eras of China, much like succession of dynasties. In terms of international law, Republic of China is followed by the People's Republic of China with a State succession event.


Taking history into account, Taiwan does not equal to Republic of China! Know how to differentiate between these names is the key to understanding issues like Taiwan independence. Finding a way out of Taiwan's international isolation also requires this knowledge.

A consequence of the Chinese Civil War is the mixing up of the identity of Taiwan and a previous Chinese government. Name rectification is way to go for Taiwan!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

I'm back! Oh no, my blog has gathered a thick layer of dust.

Put a picture of a bunny, because it's cute!

So, what I have been doing for the past year? My attention has mainly been put into studying international law and history of Taiwan and China.

I am still in my PhD project, but I have put much of my energy into looking at the Taiwan issue and writing all my findings up as a book. This is a lot of energy, and a lot of effort. What I have learnt may not have immediate benefit for me, but at least it is useful for later.

It took so much work, there must have been an event that gave me a big push to do it. I have not imagined making this far.

I become aware that international law is the key to understanding international documents. While I am not practicing as an international lawyer, international law is useful for historians to understand documents, especially treaties signed between countries.

In the age of Internet, finding information has never been easier. I don't need to go to a library to read ancient texts. They are now uploaded onto the web. Imagine accessing dynastic records of China on my computer screen and cite them. I always have the convenience of entering a keyword to Google and many things, some rarely seen, can be brought to the light. I have read the lesser known stuff, such as prophecies regarding the future of China. One must be astounded by the perfect fulfillment of prophecies.

What have I been turned into? Should I continue to be a scientist, or a historian?

My friend once remarked to me, I should blog about politics, that I have the potential to make it big with such a topic. Maybe, I have found a good topic to blog about. I have always kept an interest in the culture of East Asia. The relationship between China and Taiwan, or better known as Cross Strait Relation, seem an attractive topic, because I can make use of my proficiency in Chinese.

I have this regret. That I should strive for a person I want to be and not to be dictated by someone else.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

There is no question on Penang

In the midst of Lim Guan Eng house-buying controversy, opportunist Ridhuan Tee urged that Penang be restored to Kedah. It appears clear that he has a sinister agenda. A remark that touches on the bottom line of Penangnites is unacceptable.
 
There is no denial that Penang was once part of the Sultanate of Kedah. Kedah ceded Penang Island to the British East India Company in a treaty signed 1786, in exchange for military assistance from the latter. When Kedah was attacked by Siam, Francis Light failed to provide military assistance that was promised earlier, thus dishonouring the treaty. Kedah tried to retake Penang in 1790 but was defeated.
 
The British East India Company, as the victor, dictated the terms of the 1791 treaty. In the 1791 treaty, the Sultan of Kedah cede Penang Island to the Company for an honorarium. The British East India Company took Seberang Prai in 1802 for an increased honorarium. An honorarium is a payment which the giver has no legal obligation to do so. There is no question that treaties signed between Kedah and the Company were unequal treaties.
 
The political reality is, Penang and Seberang Prai went under separate governance since Kedah ceded it to the British East India Company. Penang’s status was changed to Straits Settlements, then came under direct British rule as a Crown Colony in 1867. The handling of Kedah to British in the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 did not change the reality of separate governance. Kedah became an Unfederated Malay State and Penang a Crown Colony.
 
Today, in the Constitution of Malaysia, Article 1 enshrined that Penang and Kedah are two separate states, and territories of the states can only be altered by Parliament with the consent of the respective states. Penang and Kedah are two sovereign equals as part of Malaysia.
 
The Penangnites have worked hard to develop Penang into a vibrant city-state today. Penang has her own values distinct from her neighbouring state. Terms of the treaties that have been executed are done, so there is no turning back. The call for Penang to return to Kedah is reflective of the pre-Independence mentality. There is no reason for Kedah to reclaim Penang today. 
 
There is no question on the status of Penang. There is no question of territorial integrity in Peninsular Malaysia. Anyone attempting to undermine the status of Penang goes against the Constitution and can be held guilty of sedition.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day 2016

Today is Valentine's Day, so what to talk about? Hmm....

I'm still single as of now. Don't blame me for not having a partner now, but rejoice because I have a place available in my heart.

Whenever Chinese New Year comes, relatives will bombard me with questions of getting a girlfriend. I'm so annoyed with the question so much so that this question has become a taboo topic for the festive seasons.

There is no use in trying to force two incompatible people together because in the end it will just..... NOT WORK. I've even tried it myself and got hurt, because something that doesn't work will not work in the end.

I went up to the net to read stories of how incompatible people got married due to pressure from parents, only to fall apart later. I've read of how friends and relatives introducing prospective mates only to find that relationship didn't develop further. One can meet so many prospective mates and not meeting someone that suits one's heart.

A relationship must have a good foundation to start. There must be a basis for relationship for it to work.

It's said that the best person to marry are those you know since young. You grew up with them and got familiar with their strengths and flaws.

When I was younger I was so eager to get a girlfriend. Just yesterday I checked my Facebook for a down memory lane. I checked out the girls I've grown interested during high school. This feeling came to me. Now, I actually complain that they no longer look young as before. A relative of mine told me the same.

Every man will have it: prefer younger women. I was young when I first heard it, and it has kicked in when I started looking at my favourite idol group A Pink. I was 24 at that time.

Guess what? I'm looking at TWICE, an idol group debuted not long ago. All members are younger than me, the eldest is 6 years and the youngest member is 10 years my junior. They have the youth I'm looking for! To date, I haven't meet any girl like that in my personal circle. Yeah, I have gone through dry spells.

I can't believe that I'm looking at girls 10 years younger than me in K-pop videos.

There are such people in my university but to find love is not easy.

Postgraduate dating pool is just too small and the people too old and not having anyone I desire. Oh, I'm complaining non-stop.

There's this dream from every fan: To marry their favourite celebrity. There are a few success stories that should serve as inspirations for me. I really admire the persistence of Lee Min Ho in courting miss A's Bae Suzy. He repeatedly made requests to Suzy's side, but got turned down a few times. He had strong interest in Suzy and finally he got it!

It's obsessive of a fan to make such a wish, but it's possible right? :)