Friday, February 13, 2009

Lin Trial Transcripts: Does the US have sovereignty over Taiwan?

At present Roger Lin and Dick Hartzell are bringing a trial in the US courts claiming that the US has sovereignty over Taiwan as the principal occupying power on the basis of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. A transcript from the current appeals court hearing -- they lost the initial round -- is available online.

IMHO the lawsuit is a crank lawsuit that is simply a waste of the Court's time, which is sad because Dick Hartzell, a tireless campaigner, has done more for the foreign community here than any other foreigner who has lived on the island, and I admire his work very much (and wish he would focus his efforts on that!). But the simple fact of the matter is that the US position is that it has no sovereignty over Taiwan, and neither does anyone else. It is also a simple matter that the US position on sovereignty is a political question, not a legal one, to be decided by the legislative and executive branches of the government in accordance with the US Constitution (see Goldwater v. Carter, a famous case about US relations with Taiwan). No document produced subsequent to the San Francisco Peace Treaty by either branch recognizes US sovereignty over Taiwan. End of discussion.

Hartzell/Lin's arguments are laid out in a number of places. Readers could consult this long discussion at Forumosa, the number 1 expat forum in Taiwan, run by Anthony van Dyck, one of the nicest people I know. A quick version is online here. A short version is this Taipei Times piece from 5 years ago, in which Hartzell observes:
Step 3: In the post-war peace treaties, the sovereignty of Taiwan was not awarded to the ROC, hence Taiwan remains under the administrative authority of the US military government, and this is an interim status condition. In the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Article 4b clearly states that the US military government has final disposition rights over "Formosa and the Pescadores."

In addition, Article 23 reconfirms the US as the principal occupying power.

In effect, the US is holding the sovereignty of Taiwan "in trust," and in the Shanghai Communique the US president is making arrangements for the future handover of this sovereignty to the People's Republic of China, which is recognized as the sole legitimate government of China! However, at the present time, Taiwan is still under US administrative authority, and should be enjoying "fundamental rights" under the US Constitution, as in all other US overseas territories.
Hartzell apparently believes that Taiwan belongs to the PRC -- or perhaps only that such a conclusion is a consequence of current US policy -- and the US is holding it in trust for Beijing. This is not a position that I as an ethical human can support. The chain of sovereignty is quite clear, and terminated in April of 1952 when Japanese sovereignty was effectively ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

As Lin and Hartzell correctly note in their presentation, the decision not to award sovereignty was deliberate, and remains the position of the US and other powers even today: no nation has sovereignty over Taiwan.

The island of Taiwan belongs to the people of Taiwan, and only to them.

UPDATE: Since I published this post, Hartzell and Lin have a new and more pro-TI position over on their Taiwan civil government website:
The Central Administrative Commission of the Taiwan Civil Government, in order to allow the public to more easily understand the nature of this Government's organization, has chosen the motto of "US Nation-Building Group." This motto clearly indicates that Taiwan at present is temporarily an overseas territory under the jurisdiction of the United States Military Government (USMG). In the future, after Taiwan's true international legal status is fully recognized, the Taiwanese people will proceed along the path of nation-building with the help of USMG.
UPDATE 2: My good friend Echo Taiwan has a completely different view of this case.

Don't miss the comments below, many are excellent.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think another aspect of this folly is that it further serves to divide the pro-Taiwan community into more disparate factions around some elevated personalities and detracts from the common cause.

I have been paying attention to this group and movement for a while and I have seen Hartzell/Lin supporters clash with other pro Taiwan groups in on-line "discussions".

In any movement dissent is usually a good thing... to a point. The fact of the matter is, money talks. The pro-Taiwan community has only a limited amount of money available to support a free and independent Taiwan/ a non-Chinese Taiwan. The ever fractious nature of Taiwanese movements divides the amount of donated funds available to promote the cause and renders each group in the movement impotent, while raising internal animosity and petty jealousy.

The funds going to support the Lin/Hartzell case could be used more effectively elsewhere to buy support for Taiwan. They are simply driving wedges between allies and preventing pro-Taiwan groups from crafting a united message with resonance.

Thomas said...

I would like to know how they came to the conclusion that the US was making arrangements to hand over sovereignty in the Shanghai Communique. The question of whether or not the US has sovereignty of Taiwan aside, such language is nowhere present in the communique.

I would say that if the US wanted to make a claim to sovereignty, this would be one (extremely unpopular everywhere, so almost certainly unsuccessful) approach to take. The claim itself is no more ridiculous than Chinese claims to Taiwan's sovereignty, aside from the fact that the US repudiates open involvement with Taiwan. Of course, it is clear that this is not what the US wants.

My main question is what is the real motivation behind this pointless lawsuit? What can possibly be achieved in the long run?

Anonymous said...

This case may also force the US court system to add (invent) clarity where the cause was better served by ambiguity. It may eventually give the US less room in future efforts of diplomacy.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing seems more like a vanity project.

Michael Turton said...

have been paying attention to this group and movement for a while and I have seen Hartzell/Lin supporters clash with other pro Taiwan groups in on-line "discussions".

Bingo -- this lawsuit sucks. The only correct TI position is that Taiwan belongs to its people, and no one else. Even in the impossible event that the US would recognize

Michael

Anonymous said...

In a way I feel sorry for all the Taiwan supporters who have been taken in by this "confidence scheme".

Many old independence supporters have been fighting for a ling time and when Mr. Lin and Mr. Hartzell came to town peddling their brand of snake oil, a few jumped at the chance and opened their wallets.

The TI movement has been a long, tiresome and often unrewarding effort. The Lin/Hartzell theory must have looked like a tempting magic pill that could save the day. Sprinkled with some strong personalities (egos) and convincing legalese, a lot of people were taken for a ride.

Time to move on and get back to the blood, sweat and tears. It will not be as easy as reinterpreting the intent of a treaty or simple semantic wrangling.

Anonymous said...

The only correct TI position is that Taiwan belongs to its people, and no one else.---

US can play what it want but so long Taiwanese declararte themselfes as an independent nation(you know that referendum thing) US can do nothing. until then taiwan is still chinese ocupated former japanese teritory under US rule gived to chinese ocupants.(welcome to compley internaional shit politics)

ps. USA sucks chinese dick.

Anonymous said...

(1) "Crank" is the right word for Hartzell's little crusade. I know all he wanted was passports, but what was the court supposed to do--order the U.S. executive branch to reimagine the last fifty years of Taiwan's history, like China does?

(2) The suggestion that "Taiwan belongs to its people" begs the question of how such regions are to be delimited. (Which sphere ought to have "moral sovereignty"--Canada, Quebec, or the Cree Nation?)

(3) The tendency of foreigners to rely on over-moderated sites like Forumosa is a bit disturbing. I'm afraid your friend Van Dyke is one of those liberals who can't allow his views to be contradicted. Such people deserve our contempt, not our patronage.

Dixteel said...

It's most likely a waste of effort. But to those who paid attention to this, it might actually clarify thing. For example, many will come to the realization in crystal clarity that...PRC, ROC, Japan, and the US don't have sovereignty for Taiwan. Especially with report and debate from the US courts, things might become even more clear for Taiwanese about their self identity.

The realization and clarification in the due process might actually strengthen TI movement, not weaken it. It seems to me that clarity always strengthens Taiwan's position, ambiguity always weakens it.

Roy Berman said...

I hate to say it, but even PRC sovereignty over Taiwan makes more sense than this ludicrous legal theory. At least the PRC CLAIMS Taiwan as their possession, which is far more than the US every did. Of course, there are also multiple legal cases for full Taiwanese independence that are MUCH stronger than this silly case. It's simply comical that Hartzell/Lin don't even seem to consider the possibility of Taiwan's existence as an independent state.

Taiwan Echo said...

I intended to post some views different from that of you guys, but it uncontrollably evolved into a long post:

Infighting over Lin vs.US case - We forget whom we should have been fighting

In one brief sentence:

The significance of Lin/Hartzell's approach, especially the lawsuit against US government, should therefore be re-visited with the current context in mind.

Anonymous said...

Still, the lawsuit is such a curiosity that it will make a lot of news and bring to light the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Reading the appellate transcript, it is quite clear that the court was unconvinced by Lin and Hartzell's arguments. In fact, they were quite harsh with Mr. Camp.

Unfortunately for Lin and Hartzell, their own attorney's answers gives the appellate court ample ammunition to uphold the lower courts ruling of dismissal.

habeas said...

The statement that the sovereignty of Taiwan belongs to the Taiwanese people is a confusion between "popular sovereignty" and "state sovereignty" (aka "territorial sovereignty"). The two are not the same. At the minimum, Hartzell-Lin are not confused about this, while a great majority of the TI supporters are.

There are also additional facts of which the Hartzell-Lin camp are not confused. First, they clearly see that Taiwan can never enter the United Nations. (Even if the General Assembly were to discuss Taiwan's membership, the vote of the PRC in the Security Council would assure that Taiwan could never be admitted.) If we want to talk about snake-oil salesmen, I believe all the groups which are pushing for Taiwan to be admitted to the UN should be included.

Second, Hartzell-Lin clearly see that the One China Policy of the USA is not going to change. The ROC in Taiwan is neither a legitimate government for China nor for Taiwan, and the world community is fully aware of that. As of December 1949, by moving its central government to occupied Taiwan, the ROC has become a government in exile. Under international law, there is no way for a government in exile to be recognized as the legal government of its current locality of residence.

Michael Turton said...

The statement that the sovereignty of Taiwan belongs to the Taiwanese people is a confusion between "popular sovereignty" and "state sovereignty" (aka "territorial sovereignty").

Nowhere did I mention the term 'sovereignty' in my statement. It appears that you, not me, are confused here.

I am well aware that a government in exile cannot become the legitimate government of the territory that it occupies. Amy lin sent me here excellent MA thesis on the topic of Taiwan a while back.

I do not think Hartzell and Lin are confused. I think they are very clear on what they think and why, as I have observed in my post.

Michael

Dixteel said...

I think on the topic of TI direction and clarification, the following is worth a read for all TI supporters:

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2009/new/feb/8/today-p5.htm

Although I admire Mr. Lin's effort and his idea, I certainly find the idea in the above article more possible and logical than Mr. Lin's argument. And I think it's a very possible direction a lot of TI leaders need to keep in mind. The proposal might not be possible now, but it might be a possibility in the future.

Some might say, hey, even Taiwanese participated in ROC election and 2 Taiwanese had became ROC president...to that I will just say...SO, Taiwan still needs to become independent from ROC. Like the American used to fight for British Empire but later when it's time to say goodbye it's time to say goodbye.

Taiwan Echo said...

Anon: "Reading the appellate transcript, it is quite clear that the court was unconvinced by Lin and Hartzell's arguments. In fact, they were quite harsh with Mr. Camp."

Being talking with people over the forum in the past few days, it's always fun to see that both side say, in a definitive way, the transcript favors them.

Anonymous said...

Laws are only as good as the willingness to enforce them.

Time, effort, and money should be spent in Taiwan convincing Taiwanese that expressing a strong, overwhelming opinion against unification of any kind with any future China is the only reasonable way to earn dejure international recognition as a full nation.

That opinion, if expressed forcefully enough, could not be ignored. Especially if it looked like it might lead to mass human suffering.

Saving Taiwan from China starts and ends in Taiwan.

Richard@insular said...

Dixteel said: ...SO, Taiwan still needs to become independent from ROC.

Comment: There are no legal documents which can show that Taiwan is a part of ROC national territory. Hence, the notion that the native Taiwanese people need to fight for their rights from the ROC government structure is an elaborate myth perpetrated by the Chinese Nationalists.

As the lawsuit of Roger Lin makes abundantly clear, Taiwan is an overseas territory of the USA. The Taiwanese people should wake up to the reality of their international legal position.

Legal Rightist said...

A previous poster said: "Time, effort, and money should be spent in Taiwan convincing Taiwanese that expressing a strong, overwhelming opinion against unification of any kind with any future China is the only reasonable way to earn dejure international recognition as a full nation."

This tired mantra has been repeated for twenty, thirty, or more years. It hasn't worked before, and all bets are that it won't work in the future either.

The international community is not going to give Taiwan dejure international recognition as a full nation based on any sort of mass protests, letter writing activities, street marches, or any other demonstrations of the popular will. Legal action, one way or the other, is what is needed. Hartzell-Lin should be applauded. At least they are fighting for what they believe in within the legal system ..... and not just TALKING.

Michael Turton said...

Legal action won't work either, LR. Based on the UN agreements, the framework is in place to recognize Taiwan as a decolonized territory akin to Namibia. Good luck getting anyone to sign on.

Michael

Anonymous said...

From my encounters and observations, the Lin/Hartzell group has taken on many of the characteristics of a cult.

MJ Klein said...

the US has become an immoral warmongering police state - and i left it years ago - permanently. now if Taiwan becomes part of the US i'm gong to have to leave here too. so naturally i hope this never happens.

Robert Roth said...

I agree. I'd prefer the immoral peace-mongering police state the KMT will produce. Followed by the immoral threat-mongering police state the CCP will impose.

Anonymous said...

A long time ago, some old-timers recall that Hartzell was on a crusade to obtain Taiwan citizenship without having to renounce his US citizenship, and his work in this area netted some side-effect results that benefited the foreign community and won him praise, but he wasn't able to get a Taiwan ID out of the deal. So when that didn't work, he redirected his efforts at essentially getting the same result via making Taiwan a US territory; bringing the mountain to Mohammad, so to speak. That's all that this is about.

Taiwan Defense said...

I believe it is more correct to say that "From my encounters and observations, the 'Taiwan should join the United Nations group' has taken on many of the characteristics of a cult."

Most of the Taiwan Independence advocates support wide-ranging efforts to get Taiwan admitted to the United Nations. However, Taiwan cannot get admitted to the United Nations because it is not a country. (I won't bother to mention that the PRC would be sure to veto any Taiwanese membership application to the UN as well.)

The fact that "Taiwan is not a country" is easily seen when you examine the subject of diplomatic relations for the areas of "Formosa and the Pescadores," (aka "Taiwan"). All of these diplomatic relations are conducted under the name of the Republic of China, and not under the name of the Republic of Taiwan (or anything similar).

Hence, "Taiwan" is merely a geographic term, not the name of a country.

As for the ROC, it is a government in exile. (Lin-Hartzell have done a very good analysis of this in their online webpages.)

Importantly, there are no legal documents which can show that the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan has ever been transferred to the ROC, so after moving to occupied Taiwan in December 1949, it would be hard to classify the ROC as a sovereign state either. (At that point in time it had merely become the "recognized government in exile of China.")

There is an online chart which explains all of this in some detail. It is here -- http://www.taiwankey.net/civil/tchart1.htm

Anonymous said...

Expats are even far more "Chinese" than the Chinese on Taiwan. It is their cultural assimulation into the ROC on Taiwan that makes them more sociably acceptable into the mainstream society of the island.
Hartzell has not kowtowed to these Sinofied expats on Taiwan and now it is amusing. Has anyone looked at their next quest?

http://taiwancivilrights.com

These guys are supporting the Lin crusaders in DC with growing press conferences by TSU public figures.
If it is a personality cult, these egos keep getting bigger and group support keeps growing, too.

jerome said...

6:13 AM Anonymous said... “From my encounters and observations, the Lin/Hartzell group has taken on many of the characteristics of a cult.”

The “Legal Solution to the Taiwan Question” as a “New Religion”? Aw…Well said Anon. In fact you were reading my mind as you fired those lines.

Its canon is a buried sutra called “San Francisco Peace Treaty”. And Roger and Richard are the High Priests who revealed that diamond of a sutra. And they keep expounding on it for the benefit of the benighted Formosans whose minds need debriefing from the pollution the KMT propaganda fed them.

I am a humble follower of R&R, as I assume LTH is. If LTH can, why can’t you, benighted citizens of a long gone ROC, follow R&R out of this vale of tears??

As for you, Michael, what is the worth of Coen’s teachings when balanced with your children’s future? Take it from me. Why wouldn’t you take a sabbatical from your blog and learn from R&R in all humility? FAPA’s Coen will disavow you? But the ROC and the PRC will, too. AMEN to that.

taiwanstatus olympia said...

The international doctrine of state necessity does not legitimize the Taiwan republic but it is used by the putative Taiwan republic, because the United States Military Government (USMG), the legitimate gov't of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT), allows it to exercise this as a matter of political stability for Taiwan. The Taiwan republic, or the ROC on Taiwan, (in its present form) is not going become legitimized by popular sovereignty.

The split sovereignty between defacto and dejure government (ROC and USMG) under the SFPT is a legal split between USMG holding the territorial soveriegnty and ROC exercising the effective control of it. It is a holdover of the exiled ROC when it was the recognized gov't of China. The ROC was considered the dejure gov't of China and the PRC was the defacto gov't after 1949. When the tables were turned after 1971, the ROC was the defacto gov't of Formosa but no longer the dejure gov't of China. (Needless to say that the ROC has never been recognized as the dejure gov't of Formosa.) Taiwan Civil Gov't (TCG) is not yet the defacto or dejure gov't of Formosa because USMG remains the dejure gov't. When the defacto ROC is later displaced by the territorial jurisdiction of the "US Court of Taiwan", the TCG can become the successor to both USMG/ROC. TCG will no longer have to suffer the split sovereignty of SFPT.

The real cause for concern is the acts of state that go beyond state necessity; the public proponents of any Taiwan republic (Green or Blue) could face retroactive justice.

Continue following the developments in Lin v. USA for more details

Taiwan Defense said...

Michael Turton makes two comments in his original blog entry which are in need of clarification.

1. Dick Hartzell apparently believes that Taiwan belongs to the PRC.
2. The island of Taiwan belongs to the people of Taiwan, and only to them.

From reading through the Lin-Hartzell websites, I am certain that neither of these gentlemen believes Taiwan belongs to the PRC. That is Dick Nixon's view. Lin-Hartzell are fighting for US passports for native Taiwanese people because they believe that Taiwan has not yet reached a "final political status," since it remains under the jurisdiction of the principal occupying power (USA) of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT). After the Taiwanese obtain their US passports and have a recognized status under the US Constitution, they can then tell the US Commander in Chief to abrogage any portions of the Three Joint Communiques where the US "acknowledges" that Taiwan is part of China. (This is not idle talk, because the SFPT is of a higher legal weight than any of the Three Joint Communiques.)

In other words, the Lin-Hartzell agenda gives the Taiwanese people many rights that they do not currently enjoy.

As far as the island of Taiwan belonging to the people of Taiwan, I believe that this is most easily interpreted to fall in the realm of "personal (or corporate) property rights." Lin-Hartzell don't deny those. They are talking about something else. They are talking about a sovereignty determination during a period of military government (military occupation). The US Supreme Court has held that military government is an exercise in the rights of sovereignty. The property rights of the people do not change during such a period. Lin-Hartzell point this out. They are certainly not trying to take Taiwan away from the Taiwanese people, and indeed the USA has no territorial ambitions on Taiwan.

However, the Taiwanese would have a much better international legal position with full recognition of this type of quasi-trusteeship under USMG. The current situation under the government in exile ROC is a ticket to nowhere.

jerome said...

To Taiwanstatus Olympia.

Nice to see you around. In my comment above, I should have included you right there between Georges Kerr and Richard Hartzell.

Too bad G. Kerr alone could not prevent the Formosan version of the Palestinian Nakba. As the Palestinians had to leave in exodus after the May 1948 creation of the Zionist state on their ancestral land, likewise the unsuspecting six millions Formosans and their descendants were forced to live as exiles on their own land to make room for two millions Chinese and their failed Nationalist government. Is there bigger catastrophe, bigger injustice?

But thanks to your organization, for the Formosans, justice delayed won’t mean justice denied. Hopes are high that, following R&R effort in awakening the Formosan conscience from its slumber, your Taiwan Civil Rights Litigation Organization will some day soon allow the heirs of the former Formosan-born Japanese nationals their day in court. I am sure Mr. Kerr’s spirit will be elated to attend in the witness box as the claimant’s attorneys read from his “Formosa Betrayed”.

Get a Japanese version of your TCRLO site, please. That’ll remind the reader that, had not it been for an historical goof in Washington, Formosans would probably be today masters on their own land under a Japanese language-written constitution. And that, while maintaining warm ties with an avuncular Middle Whateverdom, they would be haggling with Japan, as can be expected of most ex-colonies in that love-hate relationship with their former colonizer.

Anonymous said...

The island of Taiwan belongs to the people of Taiwan who believe in de jure Taiwan Independence, and only to them. All other people of Taiwan can kill themselves.

Ken Wu said...

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for this post. For a long period of time, I thought me and a few others are the only whacky Taiwanese independence supporters who think Hartzell/Lin campaign is whacked and essentially a proposal to give Taiwan to the US so the US can give Taiwan back to China.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/taiwanprideinternational/message/9430

Michael Turton said...

Ken, that is one of my major fears of the Hartzell-Lin proposal.

,they can then tell the US Commander in Chief to abrogage any portions of the Three Joint Communiques where the US "acknowledges" that Taiwan is part of China.

I don't know whether you are Roger or Dick, but I do know that nowhere does the US acknowledge in the Shanghai Communique that Taiwan is part of China.

This rampant lack of knowledge is why you guys scare me. Whatever your beliefs are, it is clear that this lawsuit, as Ken is pointing out, can only have one consequence: creating a false alternative US sovereignty over Taiwan through which Taiwan can then be sold out to China.

Fortunately this suit will lose, and the only problem will be the wasted time and money that should have gone to some entity actually doing good for Taiwan.

If you want an alternative route that define Taiwan as US/ROC occupied, go for the decolonized territory route, which includes a legally recognized plebiscite on the future of the territory. That legal basis is laid out in the UN treaties to which all parties -- japan, us, roc, prc -- are signatories. And fund it yourselves.

But this is simply petitioning the emperor, and holding out the tantalizing prospect that if we just petition hard enough, the Emperor-Over-the-Sea will come and save us. It's just another short cut.

There are no shortcuts to an independent Taiwan.

There is only one way to TI. The locals have to want it, and to stand up for it. You want to spend that money on something useful, spend it trying to get the Taiwanese out of their political passivity and into pro-democracy and TI orgs.

Michael

Anonymous said...

Well said Turton. Bravo!

A lot of the L/H argument seems to be a misguided understanding of treaty law and and a self-assured belief in their own interpretations of international law and military customs. They know it all and the rest of us are ignorant in the great mysteries of military conventions and international legal customs. Smoke and Mirrors.

There is a common saying that international law is "not really law". That is a view that arises from the fact that the fabric of international law and military custom is woven from the threads of politics. No matter how many semantic acrobatics Hartzell and Lin may use, their argument can not wrest the issue from the realm of being a political question with no means to carry out any enforcement even IF they were correct.

The United States has decided where Taiwan fits into the political cosmology based on its interests (politics), and China has done the same, and so has Japan and most other nations. Their regular intercourse with Taiwan, though different in each case, is proof that Taiwan has been dealt with as a political question from the start. Demanding that these entities come around to understand L/H's view of the world based on their own (L/H's) interpretation of these documents and customs is fantasy. Since Taiwan is a political question, the courts of the USA are not where this battle should be fought. This is a political fight. Fight with lawmakers and their constituents. Taiwanese HAVE the power, but have not been PROPERLY mobilized for this battle.

Shanghai research team said...

Michael Turton said: "I do know that nowhere does the US acknowledge in the Shanghai Communique that Taiwan is part of China."

This is inaccurate. Here is the relevant wording from the Shanghai Communique --
The U.S. side declared: The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.

Michael Turton said: "it is clear that this lawsuit, as Ken is pointing out, can only have one consequence: creating a false alternative US sovereignty over Taiwan through which Taiwan can then be sold out to China."

This kind of comment is off the mark. With a recognition of US sovereignty over Taiwan, the native Taiwanese people gain fundamental rights under the US Constitution, which can prevent them being sold out to China. The "life, liberty, property, and due process of law" of the Fifth Amendment are most relevant in this respect.

Contrastingly, at the present time, the native Taiwanese people have few rights in the international arena, and have no say in their own island's future . . . . (since all relevant decisions are made by the major powers without any consultation with the Taiwanese people.)

Hence, I believe the lawsuit Lin v. USA is a step in the right direction. If Taiwan wants to be independent, recognition of its status as an overseas territory of the USA does not prevent that, but independence is an issue for the future, not now.

The world community is currently not in favor of Taiwan independence (ditto for the United Nations). The United Nations has failed to act on Taiwan's "application" for membership for over 15 years, which proves that Taiwan has no rights under the UN Charter.

Many TI supporters would have us believe that Taiwan does have rights under the UN Charter, but examination of the historical record proves otherwise.

Michael Turton said...

Dick, the use of the term "acknowledges" is very clear -- the US understands that the Chinese hold that position, but the US does not. That's been the clear interpretation of the Communique for the last three decades. It's just an agreement to disagree.

As for the rest, the US will not change policy because of your lawsuit, and hordes of marines aren't going to land here to evict the KMT and install a US colonial government.

Taiwanese will only have rights if they take them.

You guys are diverting useful energy into a fantasy. Please stop it.

With the US Establishment praising Ma Ying-jeou and pushing Taiwan to politically integrate, your lawsuit carries unconscionable risks. Please stop it.

Michael

Anonymous said...

I would only like to suggest that people who are interested in reading the Hartzell and Lin argument should read it like The Da Vinci Code.

It sounds really neat, and almost as if it could really work. But in the end it is just clever fiction that relies on an assortment of fictive plot devices to sound credible.

Independence doubter said...

While many commentators in this thread spend a lot of energy telling the supporters of the Roger Lin lawsuit to "stop," where is any better alternative strategy?

"Taiwan Independence" is not going anywhere, that is for sure.

Or can anyone show us a step by step progression whereby Taiwan can become recognized as independent nation by the international community?

Don't forget:
(1) The UN is not going to admit Taiwan as a member,
(2) The USA is not going to drop the One China Policy,
(3) There are no official legal documents which can show that Taiwan has ever been incorporated into the territory of the Republic of China.

[[ The ball is in your court. ]]

jerome said...

To my knowledge, all DoS has been saying over the years is that Taiwan or the ROC are an undecided question.

Michael, pray tell, who is threatened the most out of the US legal arm’s discovery that ROC is a zombie in a closet called Taiwan and that the key to that closet is stashed away in a drawer at DoD?

I trust that when the inference clicks on, it will help you focus on the solution at hand.

Only idiots stay on course when wisdom call for a change of tack.

Interim status poster said...

If you would take the time to thoroughly study Roger Lin's documentation, you would find that there is no contradiction in what he is saying and the statement that "Taiwan or the ROC are an undecided question."

Have you read and studied his online materials? Have you read the Nov. 3 and Dec. 17, 2008, Briefs submitted to the US Court of Appeals?

Taiwan has not yet reached a "final political status." This link gives a short summary of the relevant argument -- http://www.taiwankey.net/dc/prcutai6.htm

This rampant lack of knowledge is why the TI people really scare me.

taiwan-usa said...

Jerome said: "Only idiots stay on course when wisdom call for a change of tack."

So true indeed!!! Aren't 15 rejections by the United Nations enough?? Why can't the pro-Taiwan groups in the United States (an Taiwan) get it through their heads that Taiwan is not going to get admitted to the United Nations?

Aren't continual statements by the US Executive Branch that there is not going to be any change in the One China Policy enough to convince the pro-Taiwan supporters that they need to go back and thoroughly re-examine their premises? (Especially the premise that the ROC has sovereignty over Taiwan.)

And speaking of re-examining one's premises, why can't the pro-Taiwan groups get it through their heads that international law has never recognized that Taiwan was given to the ROC, and hence the recognition that native Taiwanese people are of "ROC nationality" is a fraud perpetrated on the native Taiwanese people??

If pro-Taiwan groups want to fight for Taiwanese human rights, they should be fighting AGAINST the ROC, and not supporting it by urging international organizations to admit the ROC on Taiwan as a member . . . . .

Robert R. said...

President Chen files affidavit for appeal to US Supreme Court.