Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hey Robert Ross, How's that fading independence movement treating ya?

It's Laiji, one of my favorite places in Taiwan.

Hey, Taiwan history buffs, today (Apr 17) is the anniversary of what important document in Taiwan history?

Several years ago I put a note in Google Calendar to remind myself that this month is the 10th anniversary of one of most vapidly pro-KMT, endlessly clueless articles ever published on Taiwan, Robert Ross' immortal Taiwan's Fading Independence Movement. It was published in Foreign Affairs, which would publish a hamster writing on international relations in Urdu, provided it was sufficiently anti-Taiwan. Reflect for a moment on the fearsome ignorance of its first two sentences.
Political developments in Taiwan over the past year have effectively ended the independence movement there. What had been a major source of regional instability -- and the most likely source of a great-power war anywhere in the world -- has become increasingly irrelevant.
My old post on it is still as relevant as ever. I just thought I'd post on this as I contemplate a populace which, in the under-45 demographic, is post-independence: it has already embraced independence and has moved on to other things.

So Robert Ross, how is that fading independence movement treating ya?

Yeah, I thought so.

Meanwhile, it is scary to realize this blog is old enough to refer to stuff posted on it more than a decade ago. I need to get a life...
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


willy doit said...

nope, keep up the good work, I look forward to reading this blog every morning.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I love the look back at history, especially in our short-attention-span-scold-lol-cry-of-the-moment culture.

Nothing wrong with thinking through ideas, sharing, and refining them in a publicly accessible way. On the flip side, I've read your blog religiously for nearly 10 years too :) Keep at it, because it's great.

Michael Turton said...

Thanks, Anon!

Cary said...

Don't ever scold yourself for doing this blog. It's a great example of its kind. Solid point of view, relevant topical (and blast from the past) postings, sense of humor, and a sense of place. You are irreplaceable for the terrific mix of politics, history, local culture, love of nature and travel, and just all around 'hey that's interesting' writing. I take a look everyday, and impatiently check for new posts when you take your well deserved breaks. I'm sure there are a lot of people like me that think you're one of the best things going.

So, thanks, and keep it up as long as you keep getting something out of it!

Jerome Besson said...

“The outpouring of gratitude toward America was at times embarrassing. Just after the formal surrender, I was walking in the countryside near Taipei when I saw a child run into the field to alert his mother. She hastened to the embankment, bringing her daughters. Clambering to the road and removing wide straw hats they bowed again and again, hailing me as "Amerika-san! Amerika-san!" -- "Mr. America" -- and thanking me in Japanese "for what America has done." (Formosa Betrayed Ch. IV Americans in uniform;

Civil affairs officer of the U.S. Navy Attache's Office to the “Free Chinese” in Chungking, George H. Kerr had travelled to Japanese Formosa to attend the surrender of the Japanese Tenth Area Army (第10方面軍) garrisoned on Taiwan. Why the Japanese touch in that farmer’s wife greeting ?

Apr. 17, 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki. Under the territorial disposition clauses of that international treaty, the Manchu Emperor recognizes to the Emperor's of Japan the perpetual and full sovereignty of Formosa and the Pescadores. It is worth noting that, by its own recognition, the Manchu Court's control had been limited to the low lands of western Taiwan. Once Taiwan is internationally recognized a Japanese Crown territory, the government of Japan is tasked with administering that jewel of the Japanese Crown.

"Imperial Rescript on Political Participation of the Residents of Korea and Taiwan." Imperial Rescript of April 1st, 1945 (Showa 20). Signed original.

Factor in the second document above, and the issue of the interim legal status of Formosa turns out to be a lot less complex than you think. Call it "US-occupied Japanese Formosa" and nip the Chinese worm out of the yam.

Post-war research on the status of sovereignty of Taiwan keeps the lid tight on a document available in the National Archives of Japan. Neither do negotiations between Japan’s PM Shigeru Yoshida and John F. Dulles seem to have alluded to it at the time SFPT was drafted.

Nevertheless, the validity of that internal decision of a sovereign state finalizing a fifty year-long incorporation process did not hinge on whether it gathered international recognition or not. Although Japan might have been at war and defeat already assured, the allied coalition against the Empire of Japan was not yet in the situation of dictating surrender conditions, either.

Common sense dictates that inhabitants of Formosa be informed of that key document and of its consequences for them once under alien occupation.

Michael Turton said...

Thanks, guys.