Uncovering the Truth about the Taiwan status
Some people maintain that the future of Taiwan, and the determination of its international position, is in the hands of the Taiwanese themselves. Others would say that it is a matter for the People's Republic of China to decide.
Over the last fifty years, many scholars of many different schools have tried to somehow prove that Taiwan is either a sovereign country or province of China. The Taiwan Question was originated from the San Francisco Peace Treaty (which came into force on April 28, 1952), but most US policy debate centers around the Shanghai Communiques and Taiwan Relations Act. This triad of key components form "One China" policy. While Taiwan does enjoy certain privileges under the Taiwan Relations Act passed in 1979, Taiwan cession still is technically a sub-sovereign entity and separate territorial unit of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT). Furthermore, at the present time, the US government rigidly maintains a three no's policy towards Taiwan. It does not accept that Taiwan is a sovereign entity for international relations nor membership in international organizations requiring any sovereign status.
Since the Truman Statement of June 27, 1950, the basic American position is the status of Taiwan is undetermined and this was reaffirmed by the SFPT ratification in 1952 with the USA as the principal occupational authority. American intent to return Taiwan to the lawful government of China has been stifled and compounded by the Chinese tensions and lethargy of Cross-Strait negotiations. America has been the enduring police force of the Taiwan Straits for enforcing a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan Question. While Sinologists endlessly debate forms of the final status, there is pressing need to more closely examine the interim status-quo of SFPT and the role of the police force.
Although many pro-Taiwan scholars will point to the Montevideo Convention's four principles of what defines a "state" to stress that Taiwan meets all the conditions for "statehood" in the international sense, in fact Taiwan only maintains a de facto control over its territorial area, not plenum dominion et utile of SFPT cession by conquest. This legal fact of status was first quietly recognized as "effective territorial control" for Article 6 of the past 1955 Mutual Defense Treaty. During a protracted and current "interim" treaty status of being held in an occupational state of colloidal suspension, there is clear legal recognition in current US government policy that Taiwan cession is juridically impaired by these official policies. Curiously, the reason for this juridical impairment is beyond the grasp of most analysts. In the accurately descriptive words of one judge, "The American experience belies the splitting of the atom of sovereignty."
The entire situation may be overviewed as follows: It can be fundamentally maintained that the correct statement of the relationship between the USA and Taiwan is one originating from the legal roles of the occupier and the occupied. A great deal of historical analysis has been assembled, and much international precedent in terms of treaties, conventions, military law, military treatises, legal commentaries, and other state practices have been examined. Additionally there is a systematic and continuous buttressing of this data with comparative conclusions drawn from exhaustively researched US Supreme Court cases back to the early 1800's. All of this analysis consistently points to the facts that (1) the sovereignty of Taiwan has never been transferred to the governing authorities (Republic of China) on Taiwan or the lawful government of China (PRC), and (2) the US military government administrative control of Taiwan is legally active, although currently dormant, and (3) the current status situation of Taiwan cession is most properly and technically described as occurring within the doctrine of "unincorporated territory." None of this is sui generis for Taiwan cession, as such habitual practice has been done in comparative strategic and geographic circumstances by the US Government for over 100 years.
Now some may ask: "If this is indeed the correct statement of the relationship between the USA and Taiwan, why this is not generally recognized or discussed by scholars, researchers, and US government personnel?" The major reason for this "oversight" is partially historical errors as compounded by passage of time itself. These gross human errors occurred during the 1945 through 1978 period, and were greatly aided by the strong anti-communist leanings of the US government during that era. In short, Chiang Kai-shek (CKS) was able to convince the world that Taiwan was his bastion for the recovery of Mainland China, and his armies were the free world's last hope for the defeat of the communist forces which had proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic on October 1, 1949. With the fate of the entire Mainland China (and its hundreds of millions of people) at stake in this struggle between the forces of "good and evil," the real question of determining the sovereignty of Taiwan during this entire period was very conveniently swept under the rug and out of sight of the international community.
The conspiring historical factors of covering up the interim political status issues of SFPT included the American disenchantment with Chiang Kai-shek after WWII, the Chinese civil war on the mainland, the meteoric rise of McCarthyism, Commander-in-Chief Truman's preoccupations with MacArthur's Occupational Government of Japan, the culminating events of the Korean War and the Cold War, and highly effective ROC misuse of influential DC lobbyists to sway American Congressmen with prejudicial viewpoints towards Asian issues. Despite the presence of authoritative evidence to the contrary, status issues of the American policy for Formosa were silenced, but they have remained on the legal record.
Since the US government never had any intentions to annex the Taiwan territory, CKS was left to "call the shots" so to speak. From the end of WWII, US government officials continually failed to clarify the special interim status nature of the USA - Taiwan relationship, and left CKS's troops to do as they would with the Taiwan area and its people. Whether it be State Department clientism of "One China" or meddling in the "internal affairs" of Chinatown in San Francisco, this damning cultural propensity of the US leadership for historically excluding Chinese is particularly noteworthy in light of the US government reluctance to follow standard operating procedures to appoint a US nationality civilian High Commissioner for the Taiwan cession on any of these three crucial dates in modern Taiwan history:
(1) October 25, 1945,Information on this website provides a detailed overview of Taiwan's true status. Much of this analysis is based on triangulated validations of customary laws of war, US Army Civil Affairs regulations, international treaty law, US Constitutional precedent, and related materials. The staff in the the offices of the US Congress' Taiwan Caucus members are urged to read through and digest this information and consider the feasibility of holding the necessary Congressional Hearings to bring the correct USA - Taiwan relationship into a clear focus, and to remove the blinders which have been covering our eyes for so long.