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CIB working to bring in Chinese police

INTERNET INDIGNATION: A Crime Investigation Bureau official said there was no plan, but the bureau was working on allowing Chinese law enforcers to be stationed in Taiwan

By Loa Iok-sin
Sunday, May 10, 2009, Page 1

Allowing Chinese law enforcement personnel to be stationed in Taiwan as part of cross-strait efforts to prevent crime is not a finalized plan, although that is what the two sides are working toward, a Crime Investigation Bureau (CIB) official said yesterday.

“So far, we don’t have a concrete plan, but we’re working in that direction,” CIB Crime Investigation Section Chief Chiu Nien-hsing (邱念興) was quoted as saying yesterday in a Central News Agency (CNA) report.

Chiu made the comments in response to a report published by the Chinese-language China Times Weekly magazine on Friday that Chinese law enforcement personnel may soon be allowed to be stationed in Taiwan.

The magazine said China had suggested that law enforcement personnel from both sides of the Strait — Taiwanese police officers and China’s People’s Armed Police — be stationed in each country to strengthen cross-strait cooperation on crime prevention.

The suggestion has already been submitted to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) for review, and it may be discussed during cross-strait talks to be held at the end of the year, the report said.

The report also said Taiwan had requested that once a suspect wanted by Taiwan is arrested in China, Chinese law enforcement agencies should notify their Taiwanese counterparts within 24 hours.

When contacted by the Taipei Times for comment, CIB spokesman Liu Chung-chih (劉崇智) said it was a complicated issue and the CIB did not have such a plan at present.

“[Allowing Chinese law enforcement personnel to be stationed in Taiwan] is a very complicated issue because it would require laws to be revised and a lot of discussion,” Liu said. “We [the CIB] are only an executing agency, the decision-making power is in the hands of the MAC and other government authorities.”

“I can tell you that we don’t have such a plan at the moment,” he said.

When asked if it would be a future objective, Liu repeated that the CIB did not have such a plan at present.

Although the CIB denied there was any plan, the China Times Weekly report caused uproar on the Internet.

“Let’s wait and see — first it’s the police, next it will be the military,” an anonymous Internet user wrote on an online forum. “Once Chinese police and military can be legally present in Taiwan, it would be like telling the world we’ve been ‘liberated.’”

“Chinese police will soon be allowed to make arrests in Taiwan,” an Internet user with the screen name “cw” said. “Wuerkaixi, Professor Ruan Ming [阮銘], Tibetan dissidents and Taiwanese independence activists will be the first on the list.”

Both Wuerkaixi and Ruan are Chinese dissidents taking refuge in Taiwan.



Chen hospitalized after suffering dehydration

By Ko Shu-ling
Sunday, May 10, 2009, Page 1

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was hospitalized for dehydration yesterday after he went two days without food or water to protest his detention over graft charges.

TV footage showed police officers wheeling a pale-looking Chen with his eyes closed into Taipei County Hospital in Banciao (板橋).

“He is dehydrated and has been coughing. We recommend that he stay for examination and treatment,” deputy hospital director Yang Chang-bin (楊長彬) told reporters yesterday at noon.

The Taipei Detention Center — where Chen has been held since December on corruption and money-laundering charges — said in a statement that the former president was transferred to the hospital after he showed signs of dehydration yesterday morning. It said he had been refusing water and food for two days.

On Thursday, after appearing weak at a court hearing on whether his detention should be extended, Chen issued a statement saying that he would not appeal any verdict in the case and would immediately dismiss his attorneys and stop calling witnesses. He also said he would not eat or drink anything until May 17 to show his support for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) rally on that day protesting the government’s China-leaning policies. Chen has so far been on two hunger strikes while in jail, but ended them after his wife and family pleaded with him to preserve his strength.

Yang said yesterday that Chen was conscious and had cooperated with medical staff.

They heard the sound of phlegm in Chen’s left lung and his heartbeat was 96 beats per minute, Yang said.

Chen received an intravenous injection after a blood test showed he had suffered minor dehydration, Yang said. The Taipei Detention Center had given Chen antibiotics to cure his coughing, but the illness had not gone away. Because Chen was also complaining about pressure in his chest, Yang said the hospital did an X-ray of his lungs as well as an electrocardiogram and heart ultrasound.

The hospital recommended that Chen be hospitalized for a further check-up of his heart. The Taipei Detention Center said it agreed to the hospital’s suggestion and would strengthen security at the hospital.

The center’s authorities said Chen had an electrocardiogram on April 28 and the result came back normal. Chen also had an X-ray on May 1 and it came back normal as well. Chen has also complained about the deterioration of his eyesight. The center’s authorities said an eye check-up showed that Chen had conjunctivitis and myopia.

Chen’s secretary, Chiang Chih-ming (江志銘), said that Chen’s wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), tried to visit him yesterday, but the request was denied.

Taipei Detention Center Deputy Director Lee Ta-chu (李大竹) said no guests were allowed on Saturdays, so they could not allow Wu to visit Chen at the center or the hospital.

DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is currently visiting the US, expressed concern over Chen’s health, requesting the DPP caucus and headquarters assist in protecting Chen’s medical and judicial rights.

The DPP yesterday condemned Chen’s incarceration and demanded he be released immediately, saying holding the former president in jail was inappropriate, unnecessary and an violation of his human rights.

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said he respected the judicial investigation of Chen, but hoped to see due process of law and the protection of Chen’s human rights.





Echoes of a dictatorship

In her latest book, Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein describes how then-Spanish prime minister Jose Aznar’s reaction to the 2004 Madrid train bombings almost destroyed public support for his party. At the time, Aznar incorrectly and rashly blamed Basque separatists for the bombing and then argued that negotiations were neither possible nor desirable. Instead, he claimed that “only with firmness can we end these attacks.”

Klein wrote of Madrid newspaper editor Jose Soler’s reaction to Aznar’s comments — feelings that many Taiwanese might find resonance with today. Soler explained that “we are still hearing the echoes of Franco. In every act, in every gesture, in every sentence, Aznar told the people he was right, that he was the owner of the truth and those who disagreed with him were the enemies.” The public seemed to agree with Soler and punished Aznar’s pro-Franco party by handing it a substantial no vote at the ballot box.

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) attempts to revise historical records in favor of the Republic of China (ROC) on the issue of sovereignty transfer in the Treaty of Taipei are a classic example of Ma telling the public that his spurious reading of international law is right and those who argue Taiwan’s status is undecided — among them the US government — are wrong and interfering in “warming cross-strait relations.”

From the renaming of National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall to ordering police to confiscate national flags during a Chinese envoy’s visit, restricting freedom of assembly and attempting to lend legitimacy to the ROC government’s rule over Taiwan, while turning a blind eye to illegal syndicates who harrass and intimidate people who oppose the Ma administration, Taiwanese are hearing echoes of the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) regime.

The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) near-absolute political control has made it impervious to criticism and led to a feeling of self-righteousness within the party and amongst government officials.

With so many KMT chefs in the kitchen hoping to skim some fat off the soup, there exists a problem of a vacuum of responsibility and accountability at the heart of Taiwan’s democracy that will not be resolved until the president can demonstrate that he has the political capital, for example, to make law enforcement officials more tolerant of his critics.

If the president hopes Taiwanese democracy would be more about substance than appearance, why doesn’t he demand that negotiations with China be carried out in the open rather than in secret?




Promoting a ‘two China’ policy

By Annette Lu 呂秀蓮
Sunday, May 10, 2009, Page 8

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) presided over an unveiling ceremony at the Taipei Guest House of a bronze sculpture depicting the signing of the 1952 Sino-­Japanese Peace Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Taipei, on April 28. At the ceremony, Ma asserted that the treaty affirmed the transfer of Taiwan’s sovereignty from Japan to the Republic of China (ROC). This move has several political implications.

First, by affirming the Treaty of Taipei, Ma rejected the 1943 Cairo Declaration and accepted the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, admitting that the Japanese government renounced any claim to Taiwan and Penghu and that sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu should be determined by their inhabitants.

The Qing government and Japan signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895, which stated that “China cedes to Japan in perpetuity and full sovereignty the following territories ... (b) The island of Formosa, together with all islands appertaining or belonging to the said island of Formosa. (c) The Pescadores Group...” This treaty became void when the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed in 1951.

The San Francisco Peace Treaty stated that Japan renounced its claim to Taiwan and Penghu, but did not specify the legal successor government of the territories. The charter of the UN, which was established six years before the San Francisco Conference, ensures the fundamental right of self-­determination of peoples living on islands that had been occupied as a result of war. How could the representatives from the countries at the San Francisco Conference have possibly violated this principle and allowed Japan to wilfully decide the legal successor government of Taiwan and Penghu?

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has always based the legal status of Taiwan on the Cairo Declaration, which was merely a consensus reached by Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), then-US president Franklin D. Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill at the Cairo Conference in 1943. The trio did not sign the declaration, but instead released it as a press communique in the three countries.

The Cairo Declaration stated that Japan should abandon all the territories it had conquered and restore Taiwan and Penghu to the ROC — the People’s Republic of China (PRC) did not exist at the time. The précis of the declaration was reiterated in the Potsdam Declaration, which was promulgated on July 26, 1945, and emphasized that “the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out.” About a month later, Japan released the Japanese Instrument of Surrender and accepted the terms and conditions set out in the Potsdam Declaration. Based on this, the KMT made the Cairo Declaration the legal basis for its claim to sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu, without mentioning the San Francisco Peace Treaty or the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty.

Article 2 of the Treaty of Taipei accepts the San Francisco Peace Treaty by stipulating that “Japan has renounced all right, title, and claim to Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) as well as the Spratley Islands and the Paracel Islands.” Since Japan renounced its claim to Taiwan and Penghu at the San Francisco Conference in 1951, it no longer had the right to transfer sovereignty of Taiwan and Penghu to the ROC in 1952. It also means that the People’s Republic of China could not “inherit” sovereignty over the territories from Japan.

But why would Academia Historica director Lin Man-houng (林滿紅) suggest that the KMT claim sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu based on the Treaty of Taipei? Because she completely ignored Article 2 of the Treaty of Taipei, which copies Article 2 of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Instead, she only looked at Article 3 and Article 10 of the Treaty of Taipei regarding the disposition of Japan’s property and the nationality of residents, which has nothing to do with the issue of sovereignty. She thus mistook the right of jurisdiction for sovereignty rights.

Article 3 of the Treaty of Taipei stated that the disposition of property of Japan “shall be the subject of special arrangements between the Government of the Republic of China and the Government of Japan.” Article 10 of the treaty stipulated that “nationals of the Republic of China shall be deemed to include all the inhabitants and former inhabitants of Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) and their descendants who are of the Chinese nationality in accordance with the laws and regulations which have been or may hereafter be enforced by the Republic of China in Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores).” Based on this, Lin argued that if sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu had not been transferred to the ROC, how could Japan have discussed issues on property and nationality with the ROC government?

Lin is wrong. The Treaty of Taipei could not overrule the provisions laid down in the San Francisco Peace Treaty because it was written later. Japan renounced all rights, title, and claim to Taiwan and Penghu to the 51 countries attending the San Francisco Conference rather than the ROC, which could not attend the conference.

In other words, since the Japanese government had already given up its claim to sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, it had no right to decide on the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty in the Treaty of Taipei. Japan touched upon the issues of disposition of its property and nationality because Japan had no choice but to sign a bilateral agreement with the ROC as Taiwan was occupied by the ROC government at that point in time. However, just because the ROC had jurisdiction over Taiwan does not mean it had sovereignty over the territory: Sovereignty and jurisdiction are considered two different issues under international law. The issue of sovereignty over Taiwan, therefore, should be discussed in accordance with the fundamental principle of self-determination as laid down in the UN Charter.

Second, Ma should announce to the world that the PRC cannot “inherit” sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu and that Taiwan and China are two different countries.

Although the PRC government overthrew the ROC government on Oct. 1, 1949, it has never exercised effective sovereignty over Taiwan. The reason why the PRC asserts there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of it is because the ROC claims sovereignty over Taiwan based on the Cairo Declaration. Since the PRC took over the ROC, Beijing believes it should inherit sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu. However, Ma now says the Treaty of Taipei and the San Francisco Peace Treaty — rather than the Cairo Declaration — affirmed the transfer of Taiwan’s sovereignty to the ROC. How can the PRC, which was founded in 1949, claim the right to inherit anything that has belonged to the ROC since 1952?

Third, Ma should institute a fundamental “two Chinas” policy and engage in rational dialogue with the DPP, which advocates the concept of “one China, one Taiwan.”

Lin considered the Treaty of Taipei the international pact that defines the status of sovereignty over Taiwan and Penghu and argued that the history of Taiwan should be defined as the history of the ROC in accordance with the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty. What she suggested was that the ROC has co-existed with Taiwan and Penghu since 1952 and that it is separate from the PRC. In other words, if Ma agrees with her suggestion, his latest fundamental national policy should be the “two Chinas” system: the PRC on the mainland and the ROC in Taiwan.

If this is the case, the only difference between the KMT’s “two Chinas” and the DPP’s “one China, one Taiwan” framework lies in the nation’s title. The government and the opposition can thus engage in rational dialogue to work out a long-term plan to seek eternal peace for Taiwan.

Annette Lu is a former vice president.



China eases on Taiwan, keeps US at a distance

By Richard Halloran
Sunday, May 10, 2009, Page 8

After decades of antagonism, China seems to have relented a bit to show goodwill toward Taiwan. Beijing has agreed to have Taiwanese observers attend a World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting, permitted a state-owned enterprise to invest in Taiwan and, for the first time, sent a researcher to a US military institute in Hawaii alongside colleagues from Taiwan. At the same time, Beijing appears to have turned up its belligerence toward the US by mounting five harassing assaults on US Navy ships in international waters off China’s coast in the last two months. Moreover, Beijing has declined to resume military exchanges with the US despite urgings by senior US officers.

Why the Chinese have adopted this apparent carrot-and-stick approach is a puzzle that can only lead to speculation. On the Taiwan issue, maybe Chinese leaders have figured out that their continued hostility toward Taiwan has driven people there further away rather than encourage them to join China. Nothing suggests, however, that Beijing has diluted its claim to Taiwan.

Or maybe they are trying to tamp down pro-Taiwan sentiment in the US Congress. The House of Representatives last month passed a resolution that “reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act,” which governs US political, economic and military affairs with Taiwan in place of diplomatic relations.

Taiwan has sought for years to expand what its diplomats call international space but has been blocked by Beijing. The WHA meeting in Geneva starting next Saturday is scheduled to have representatives from Taiwan there without a vote. The official Chinese press said Beijing was “allowing” Taiwan to come, underlining its attempt to assert Chinese control over Taiwan’s presence.

Bloomberg News has reported that China Mobile has agreed to buy a 12 percent share in Far EasTone Telecommunications, the first investment by a Chinese state-owned company in Taiwan. The US$529 million investment drove the Taiwan Stock Exchange to its biggest daily gain since 1991 amid speculation that it could spur more Chinese investments.

At the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, where military officers and civilian officials from Asia and the US discuss non-military aspects of security, China has refused until now to take part as long as Taiwan was represented there. A Chinese researcher is now attending an anti-terrorist course with a naval officer and a civilian official from Taiwan.

On the downside, on May 1 two Chinese fishing vessels closed on the surveillance ship Victorious in the Yellow Sea 274km off the coast where China maintains a major naval base at Qingdao. The Chinese maneuvered in what a Pentagon spokesman asserted was “an unsafe manner.” The Victorious crew sprayed water at the Chinese vessels with fire hoses to prevent the Chinese from boarding.

China has been building a deepwater fleet but is not yet a match for the US Navy and thus appears to be resorting to maritime guerrilla tactics, drawing on the tradition of the People’s Liberation Army, which fought Japanese invaders in World War II and Chinese Nationalist forces in the civil war that followed.

To preclude escalation, US officials — including Jeffrey Bader, a specialist on Asia in the National Security Council staff, Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, and Admiral Timothy Keating, head of Pacific Command — have urged China to resume military exchanges they broke off last October after the US announced a US$5.6 billion arms sale to Taiwan.

A staff officer at Pacific Command said: “This latest confrontation is another example of why communication between both sides is imperative.”

Richard Halloran is a freelance writer in Hawaii.


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