Human Rights issues that damage Taiwan's international reput

“In your opinion, what are the issues that most damage Taiwan’s international reputation as a country which respects human rights, or would if the international community was aware of them?”

Comments anyone?

I wasn’t aware that Taiwan even HAS an international reputation as a country that respects human rights.

Institutionalized corruption, black gold politics, environmental rape, etc., sure, but human rights?

Read this and think of Retrocession Day and Kerr.
Then hit the blue link for the meaning of rights.

Human Rights under SFPT?

Moderator, COME ON!!!

Are you going to allow taiwanstatus to hijack each and every thread that contains any reference to human rights or Taiwan’s status?

We already have ample discussion going on regarding SFPT on two other threads, t.s. Please don’t let this one become bogged down with exactly the same subject matter.

And T.S., forgive me, but I know you already think I’m an idiot, so here’s a question on a quote from the document you linked to:

"351. Military Occupation
Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.

“The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised. (HR, art. 42.)”

Since Taiwan is not under the authority of the hostile army, and since the US has not established its authority and therefore is not in a position to exercise it, doesn’t that make the entire rest of the document irrelevant?

But please, don’t reply here. Reply instead in the SFPT thread, or people are going to get mightily pissed off!

You asked about rights. I did answer in a simple sentence or two. The period of hostile occupation is 10-25-45 to 04-28-52. See Par. 365 for rights issues of Par. 358. See, very simple.

So why, if its so cut and dried, have no white terror victims ever used this argument in court? (I guess its only applicable to Taiwan residents between 1945-1952 and any expats who were there at the time and had their rights violated, making it pretty irrelevant to modern-day expats – even Richard hasn’t been here that long).

Surely some of them at least must be aware of it.

And if the US so conveniently overlooks it, why would thay be any less inclined to overlook any other treaty that isn’t convenient for them?

My argument stands – the US will continue to do exactly as it pleases.

CKS is gone. The Home Self-Rule Movement has won the war of attrition against the KMT, and the SFPT is the supreme law of the land under the US Constitution.


Some conservative members on the commission once opposed the appointment of Douglas Paal as AIT director because Paal had opposed the sales of advanced military hardware to Taiwan in the past. The objection delayed Paal’s appointment at the state department for a long period of time.

Do you know of my friend LTC Larry Wortzell?

Helms Strikes Back

In answer to the ORIGINAL question…

Restrictive immigration/naturalization/citizenship laws. For example:

It’s a hell of a lot easier for an overseas Chinese person to obtain Taiwan citizenship than it is for “foreigners”. This smacks of racism.

Being born in Taiwan does not confer any rights to citizenship unless the parents are Chinese.

While these might not be the most horrific human rights abuses that could be imagined, I doubt they would endear Taiwan to people from countries, such as the US, that bend over backwards to be impartial in this regard.

Another issue is the lack of rights/representation for foreign workers.

Hey Sandman,

Seems like taiwanstatus is an occupying army of Oriented. Maybe we can convince the moderators to sue him under his own theories.

With regard to your question Sandman - why hasn’t anyone sued yet - I’ve asked this of taiwanstatus in the other threads and the answers have been something like “FAPA, the Taiwan professor groups, and everyone else has sold out to the ROC is sovereign idea.” I know, I know, taiwanstatus, everyone is a sell out and you’re the last true believer.

I ask you again, now in this thread, taiwanstatus, why have you not gotten a benefactor (and there are plenty of wealthy benshengren who are supportive of such causes), a legal team, and a test plaintiff(s) to pursue this in a U.S. court.

As I’ve said in the other threads, perhaps its b/c taiwanstatus knows that the case will never get a hearing in a U.S. court and the lawyers that bring it would open themselves to sanctions for wasting the court’s time

moving on to Richard’s question, a few things that come to mind:

-treatment of foreign workers is a definite. there is obvious rampant abuse of domestic workers. How often do we see the family sharing their maid with all their relatives, denying them days off, putting them to work in their “zi zhu can ting,” etc. All of which violates the law.

I have yet to hear of a case where an R.O.C. national has been prosecuted for physically abusing their maid or for violating the terms of the maids contract (does anyone know of any cases?). Singapore frequently prosecutes Singaporeans for such offenses. Its sad that it happens but at least they have gotten serious in Singapore about punishing such horrible people.

-complete disregard for the rights of the accused. Every big arrest results in the accused being trotted out in front of the cameras standing behind a table heaped high with contraband, forced to hold a dopey sign saying what they have purportedly done. Or just letting the cameras film inside the police station when the accused is handcuffed to the wall. Do the police get bonuses for the number of accused criminals broadcast from their precint handcuffed to the wall? Is there a quota?

-how about the general disrespect for the sanctity of life. Not just from official channels. How about the media sticking the camera into the bed of every accident victim? Where are the hospital administrators and the doctors? Oh, I know, they are standing over the bandaged victim describing the injury in detail. No class, no respect for human rights, simply disgusting behavior.

-we can now add freedom of the press as an area of concern after the raid on Next magazine this week. the difference between Taiwan and other places around the world is that in Taiwan raids like this are done in a real bumblef*ck way. Those of us that speak Chinese and saw the event on the news know that the prosecutors and police have terrible trouble articulating the basis for their action under the law, except some vague issue of national security that they convinced an obviously incompetent judge to agree with and thus issue the warrant. And who is the jerk in the prosecutor’s office or on the police force that alerted the press so that there were as many cameras and reporters at Next magazine before the prosecutors and police got there?

The Chu Mei-feng incident wasn’t much different. Chu could/should sue over what happened, but the police running around confiscating Scoop magazines and raiding its offices?

Taiwan probably figures as long as the world allows the PRC to maintain the status quo, nobody should say “boo” about what happens on their little island.

Moderator, I don’t want to diverge here in order to respond to ICN, you can move this message…so use a link if needed.

I think this will address the “issue” of human rights profoundly as one needs a far more competent US lawyer in Taiwan matters to be willing to represent the “client”, not vice versa. That is an initial barrier plus the general ignorance of the int’l public law especially Civil Affairs regulations, State Dept and/or ROC bias. In theory, one could search for private attorneys whom are also CA officers in the US Army Reserve. However, their top secret clearances and careers could be jeopardized by the revelations of FM 27-10. Take a hint. This is effective containment for any collateral damage control by the State Dept against FOIA lawsuits!

This has been a challenge. There are recognized legal expert articles on the topic which do help this interim status issue and thus do indirectly support the determining of applicability of Laws of War in the present limbo. Dumbshits think this is alteration of the present and scream political question doctrine. Or “One China” doctrine and ignore the total picture. In sum, SFPT is more like revealing the strategic ambiguities of the political question with the very same tools used to construct it for the Shanghai Communiques and TRA. Do you think the “need to know” basis of a Taiwan status is going to come out so voluntarily?

Some initial funding has been found, but the issue should be thoroughly reviewed by one or two “neutral” legal scholars. There are plenty of such in the USA…Berkeley or Tufts for example with backgrounds on SFPT issues, insular laws of Micronesia, and so on. These are not Taiwanese attorneys either by the way but are competent to render a qualified expert verdict on the applicability of these laws of war. That would entail some major analysis of TRA and Shanghai Communiques and then insular law implications. This is a twilight zone for most of you and so requires their expert opinion at $500 hourly. This can be reduced to perhaps $150 hourly for legal assistants. So if there is a US licensed, bilingual attorney still interested in supporting the determination of applicability, let me know.

I would suggest that this Taiwan-based attorney understands the military gist of the matter first and SFPT implications. If you catch the ideas behind SFPT, then the rest is legal history.

If there is a Taiwan-based attorney interested in SFPT redress, there is a perspective client and I have qualified legal scholars to do the initial research. Berkeley is a good starting point for SFPT redress as many Chinese activities have been conducted there on this issue.

There have been several veterans groups filing against Japan in California but the federal court barred any further actions. They are trying to get a Congressional bill to authorize their cases.

That was vets against Japan. The court left the door open for Chinese claims against Japan under SFPT. No Taiwan or ROC interest has even been represented as Taiwan was “Japanese” for many prospective claimants back then. These SFPT redress issues are against the KMT occupation atrocities and does not involve Japan. It involves the USA as military leaders of the Allied Powers for SFPT. That is the way the SFPT works for this type of KMT issue and has a strong potential for bringing the 2-28 into the int’l spotlight.

Human rights issues in Taiwan

  1. Press freedom

I agree with lcn that the raids on Next and Chinatimes really are undermining Taiwan’s hard-won reputation as a country with press freedom. While I do agree that national security sometimes requires the media to exercise restraint, this case is clearly not one of those times. The taxpaying public has a right to know about and debate Taiwan’s secret payments to other countries.

  1. Death penalty

I also think that the Taiwanese courts mete out far too many death sentences each year. This can’t help its human rights reputation very much, at least in Europe.

  1. foreign aid

I’m not sure if most people think of foreign aid as a human rights issue, but I suspect that Taiwan spends far too little on foreign aid as a percentage of its GDP (I’m sorry to say that the US, my native country, has a shameful record on this count as well.) I would also guess that the aid Taiwan does dole out is far too closely linked to its efforts to preserve meaningless diplomatic ties. Wouldn’t it be great if Taiwan became the world’s largest contributor (in GDP terms) to NGOs in the developing world? Now that would put some shine on Taiwan’s reputation. I don’t think it is an accident that some of the world’s most generous countries (especially the Scandinavian ones) also have some of the best reputations for human rights.

  1. (future human rights issue) Bioethics

Taiwan is trying to develop a biotech industry with very little regard to bioethics. This is likely to lead to significant human rights issues in the near future.


These issues are inter-connected because of SFPT.
Right down to the last clause of that Peace Treaty. John Foster Dulles was very proficient at writing treaties as in his youth he was an assistant at the Treaty of Versailles in 1917. His grandfather wrote the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki ceding Taiwan to the Japanese. The elder Dulles was hired by Qing China to navigate them through the Taiwan cession issues of customary laws of warfare.

According to Kerr, he even gave them two years to determine the “nationality” of Taiwan. So the customary law of war for Taiwan status have been literally dominated by the Dulles family legacy of Peace Treaties for Taiwan status. The Dulles legal practices of int’l law have also become landmark constitutional issues and are very well established in US caselaws relating to any peace treaty issues of interim status issues…eg. the insular laws. If you have ever heard of the “San Francisco System”, then you are getting warmer to how SFPT redress and still protecting Taiwan go together. Blame or thank Dulles.

Probably not really a human rights issue, but still damaging Taiwans image: The new health insurance card will be a smart card on which some information can be stored. I can’t really follow this logic, but it was praised as a measure to protect privacy that the new card will contain the whole medical history of a person. I wonder why I haven’t seen any resistance from locals - or am I the only one expecting that a suitable smart card reader will be part of the standard inventory of any HR manager soon?

Olaf, I undersatnd your concerns. However, this feature could also save lives. I’ve read dozens of reports about people being prescribed drugs with harmful interactions–sometimes resulting in death. In many cases, the drugs are prescribed by different doctors who don’t know of the patients treatment history. My mother almost died of colon cancer several years ago. It could have been caught much earlier if her physician had been fully aware of her treatment history. My mother had been under the impression that all of her records had been transferred to her new doctor, when in fact some of them were lost or mis-routed. Having a “smart card” with her medical history could have saved her a great deal of pain and misery. But I do hope legislation is enacted to avoid mis-use of the information.

Since the National Health Insurance program was instituted in March 1995, I have continually argued for a “standardized medical record number.”

This would avoid the current confusion when everytime you go to a different hospital or clinic, you obtain a different medical record number, and your records are not easily found thereafter.

I am told that the new NHI IC card will facilitate the linking of medical records between clinics and hospitals. Hence, perhaps some of these problems can be avoided.

What about requiring photo ID? That reduces and certainly deters health insurance fraud and is so basic. Or what about the WHO shot records–those thin yellow booklets with all your shot records for whenever you travel abroad. WHO logo is often on the front. Taiwan doctors are clueless about these, so it seems, and that is not necessarily just because Taiwan is not in WHO yet.

The BBC website, for some reason, has decided today to post the following old news:

…Government officials say there are now around 250,000 foreign women married to Taiwanese men. Last year, almost one in nine marriages on the island was mixed…

The real story is that the Taiwanese government is unwilling to formulate even the most basic human rights policy, and the most basic right to family life is being denied to both the Taiwanese husband and the mainland or foreign bride. The reporter also mixes up the quite different issues of mainland brides, and foreign brides. This is a human rights story, with Taiwanese characteristics, not a story about “mail order brides”.