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Houston Chronicle, Thursday, March 23, 2000

Taiwan a reborn country

Defying the intensive military threat from China's leaders, the people of Taiwan elected "Taiwan's Son," Chen Shui-bian, as their new president, March 18.

There was an error, however, in the Chronicle's article ("Taiwan defies China in vote for president," March 19), which stated that this election makes the 51 year-old split with China permanent.

The fact is, Taiwan has been separate from China for more than 105 years, as it was ceded in perpetuity to Japan from the Ching Dynasty of Imperialist China in 1895 and was occupied by Japan for 50 years until 1945.

Chiang Kai-shek escaped to Taiwan after being defeated by communist China in 1949.

And regarding the legal status of Taiwan, the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed Sept. 8, 1951, by 49 allied powers (including the United States), stated that Japan "renounces all right, title and claim to Taiwan."

The heir to sovereignty over Taiwan was not mentioned.  Neither communist China nor nationalist China received control over Taiwan from the treaty.

Taiwan has been separated from mainland China longer than there has been a communist party- by what right could that party now lay claim to Taiwan?

It's a victory for the people of Taiwan to elect a new president by their ballots.  Taiwan emerges a reborn and more democratic county.

Cheng Chuang, president, Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Houston

 


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