Taiwan Autonomy

Why the U.S. Marines will be stationed on Taiwan

By Jung-Chih Chen

General MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, issued General Order No. 1 on September 2, 1945 to direct the Japanese troops within Formosa to surrender to Chiang Kai-shek. Based on that Order, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was one of the representatives of Allied Powers, neither the agency of the U.S.  to accept the surrender of Japanese troops in Taiwan, nor the receiving party to receive Taiwan as its territory. It was Japanese troops to surrender to the Allied Powers, not to the ROC.  But the Chinese authority tampered with the General Order No. 1 and announced the day of October 25, 1945 as the "Taiwan Retrocession Day". That was the first step the Chinese Administration planned to thievishly occupy Taiwan as its own territory. Based on the same Order, the KMT government on November 6, 1946 sent 4 warships heading towards the Spratly and Parcel island groups to secure the occupation same as what they did on October 25, 1945 in Taiwan.  Those warships were provided by the U.S. But the occupation does not transfer the sovereignty, no matter how long the occupation has been persisted, according to the International law.  Again, the KMT claimed they had sovereignty over the Spratly and the Parcel islands, including Tai-ping Island till today. It was a lie too. Taiwan has been stolen and occupied since then by the ROC in-exile without any legal basis.

On September 8, 1951, the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) was signed by forty-eight countries and came into force on April 28, 1952. Neither the ROC, nor the PRC was the signatory. In the SFPT, Article 2(b), Japan renounced all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores. All what Japan renounced in the Article 2(b) was not the sovereignty of Formosa.  In the Article 2(f), Japan renounced all right, title and claim to the Spratly islands and to the Parcel islands.  In the Article 23(a), designated the United States of America as the principal occupying power of Japanese Taiwan. During the wartime in the Pacific War, all military attacks against Japanese Taiwan, the Pescadores, and the four main Japanese islands were conducted by the U.S. forces. The ROC military forces had not participated in the Pacific War. According to the law of war, it was the U.S. to defeat the Japanese Empire, not the ROC. The U.S. was the conqueror of Japan Empire. The United States of America is the principal occupying power of those territories as stated in Article 2 of the SFPT, such as Formosa, Pescadores, Kurile Islands, the Pacific islands formerly under mandate to Japan and the Spratly and the Parcel Island groups in the South China Sea. Basically, the U.S. did not send military forces to occupy those territories by itself, just insisted those territories to be solved through International law.

Therefore, it is very clear why the U.S. was disappointed to Ma’s boarding on Tai-ping Island. Neither the ROC in-exile nor the PRC can claim sovereignty over those islands in the South China Sea. On 28 January, 2016, the U.S. Pacific commander, Harris in a speech at the " Center for the strategic and international studies" said that he had explicitly told the Chinese generals the South China Sea islands do not belong to China. On November 8, 2015, after the Ma-Xi meeting in Singapore, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Carter said, "We are also changing fundamentally our operational plans and approaches to deter aggression, fulfill our statutory obligations to Taiwan, defend allies, and prepare for wilder range of contingencies in the region than we have traditionally." The U.S. made it very clear. Why? Because the U.S. is the principal occupying power over those territories according to the San Francisco Peace Treaty, Article 2 & 23(a). The SFPT is the highest International treaty till today to terminate the state of war between Japan and each of the Allied Powers concerned as provided for in Article 23.  

 The SFPT came into force on April 28, 1952. At the same day, Japan signed a bilateral treaty, the Taipei Treaty with the ROC in-exile, according to Article 6(a) of the SFPT which enabled the ROC in-exile to continue to retain in Japanese Taiwan. From April 28, 1952 to September 29, 1972, based on the Taipei Treaty between Japan and the ROC in-exile, the latter got ticket to legally retain in Japanese Taiwan according to Article 6(a).
The Article 6(a) of the SFPT was designed to set an expiring date of the General Order No. 1 and to prevent from the happening of permanent occupation among the Allied powers, such as the USSR to Karafuto, and the ROC to Formosa. John Dulles deliberated to set forth this Article 6(a) to stipulate that all Allied Powers shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as possible after the coming into force of the Treaty and in any case not later than 90 days thereafter. The CKS military occupation on Taiwan had its time limit.  The Taipei Treaty enabled the ROC to continue to retain in Taiwan according to Article 6(a) of the SFPT.

The Taipei Treaty was abrogated by the Japanese government on September 29, 1972. There was no any Treaty relationship between the two governments after September 29, 1972. The legal basis and the legitimacy were ended, then the ROC exiled government had to leave from Taiwan to its own territories, Kinmen and Matsu islands, according to Article 6(a) of the SFPT. Therefore, the U.S. military forces should officially occupy Japanese Taiwan by itself according to Article 23(a) of the SFPT.
But the reality was not what we hoped. The U.S. strategic ambiguity has been prevailing which made the ROC in-exile continue to retain in Taiwan till today. Why was that? According to Article 23(a) of the SFPT, the U.S. is the principal occupying power over Taiwan, and the conqueror of the Japan Empire in the Pacific War. The will of the conqueror is the law of the conquered. The U.S. always focuses on whichever is the best for its national interests. The ROC in-exile has been survived under the U.S. ambiguous strategy without any legal legitimacy. In addition that occupation does not transfer sovereignty. The ROC had no sovereignty over Taiwan whatsoever and will never have in the future. Plus, the ROC in-exile can not legally become as a recognized government at its current residence in Taipei, Taiwan. 
The U.S. President terminated governmental relations between the United States and the governing authorities on Taiwan recognized by the United States as the Republic of China prior to January 1, 1979. The U.S. Congress unilaterally enacted the Taiwan Relations Act. Why was that? It simply showed us the fact that the United States of America is the principal occupying power over Taiwan, according to Article 23(a) of the SFPT. This is the only reason. The U.S. definitely has the utmost power to decide the exiting mechanism of when the ROC in-exile has to leave Taiwan.
The purposes of the enactment of Taiwan Relations Act is to help maintain peace, security and stability in the Western Pacific and to promote the foreign policy of the United States by authorizing the continuation of commercial, cultural and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan.  There has no any authorization in the Act that the governing authorities on Taiwan were empowered to occupy Taiwan or as proxy for the U.S. This Act is the domestic law of the United States of America in accordance with the U.S. Constitutional processes. More clearly speaking, this Act is the law of the United States and the legal foundation for the U.S. to fulfill its statutory obligations to Taiwan.

The U.S. Marines will  be officially stationed on Taiwan is  simply telling the world that the U.S. is the principal occupying power of Taiwan according to the Article 23 of SFPT.

According to the San Francisco Peace Treaty which came into force on  April 28, 1952, in Article 23(a) designated the United States of America as the principal occupying power over Japanese overseas territories which Japanese government renounced as stated in the Article 2, including 2(b)Formosa and the Pescadores. Therefore, it is clearly showed us that the United States of America as a member of the United Nations assumes responsibilities for the administration of territories, Formosa, the Pescadores and accepts the obligation to promote the interests of the inhabitants of these territories to attain a full measure of self-government as a sacred trust obligation according to the UN Charter Article 73.. In the Article 2(f) of the SFPT, Japan renounced all right, title and claim to the Spratly Islands and to the Parcel Islands, also showed us that the U.S. in the South China Sea has and assumes responsibilities for the administration of those territories to secure the security of harmless passage in the public international waters, territories. China has no right to claim the sovereignty in the South China Sea whatsoever where are the international waters, international territories.

The United States of America as  a member of the United Nations assumes responsibilities for the administration of territories and accepts obligation to promote the   (occupied) territories, Taiwan, the Pescadores to attain a full measure of self-government according to the UN Charter Article 73.  In order to make this become reality, the ROC in-exile without legal legitimacy to retain on Taiwan, has to be expelled from Taiwan to its own territories in Kinmen and Matsu Islands. And the United States should designate a new successor of governing authority in Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, Section 15, which has to be totally organized by the people of Taiwan. The new governing authority to be named, Taiwan Government.  And this new self-government within the system of international peace and security established by the UN Charter, will promote the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories and lead Taiwan toward a normalized status in the world. 

God bless Taiwan. 

By Jung-chih Chen