Was CKS the "Founder of Taiwan"?

There’s a previous thread on who ought to be considered the “national father” of Taiwan (on analogy with Sun Yat-sen for the ROC). Lots of worthy nominees:

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopi … 76&start=0

LTH - a has been
Peng Min-Ming - a never was

Its slim pickings when it comes to idealizing one of the former ROC leaders as the “Father of Taiwan”

Besides Lee Teng-Hui, nominees from the other thread include

*Koxinga (Mod Lang)
*Acer president Stan Shir (Skeptic Yank)
*Syrayan headmen / Dutch collaborators Tavaris, Tunchuij, and Tulolo Tidaros (Maoman)
*George Psalmanazar (yours truly)
*Chiang Kai-Shek (cmdjing)
*Chiang Ching-Kuo (ac dropout)
*Formosa Plastics founder YC Wang (ac dropout)
*Evergreen founder Chang Yung-fa (ac dropout)

There was some discussion over whether the title “national father” (no one has yet suggested a national mother) should go to the most influential figure, or to someone who might serve as a positive symbol (in case these are not the same).

[quote]*Chiang Ching-Kuo (ac dropout)
*Formosa Plastics founder YC Wang (ac dropout)
*Evergreen founder Chang Yung-fa (ac dropout) [/quote]
CCK - maybe, but he screwed around too much. His children are a testiment to what a “great” father he was.

Ugh, business leaders from Taiwan, too close to the subjects, I could never idealize these people without first laughing my ass off, because none of them ever truly put Taiwan ahead of their pocket books. But then again they are business people, so that is not what’s expected of them.

I met some people from Tzu Chi once that might have the self-less quality, but they aren’t visionary, nor very effective as national leaders…

But back to CKS issue assuming “Father of Taiwan” is a shorthand notation meaning “He who established ROC in Taiwan.”
Those other political entities don’t even exist on Taiwan in respect to the other people on the list.

An excellent choice. Given how TI-ers think that the ROC is in reality a mythical construct and U-ers think that the ROT should forever be a mythical construct, there’s no one better than good ol’ Geroge P.

OK, excuse my earlier rambling. I did not know that “retrocession” day was in 1945.

OK, I’ll submit LTH as the modern father of Taiwan, and an ancient yet ongoing collision between the Asian and Pacific plates as the original founder of the island.

There was no Retrocession in 1945. This is disinformation promulgated by the ROC regime. The international community has never recognized any transfer of the sovereignty of Taiwan territory to the ROC (or the PRC) on Oct. 25, 1945, or any date thereafter.

For a Summary of Taiwan’s International Legal Position, see taiwankey.net/dc/suippext.htm

The earlier posting of urodacus is correct in that Taiwan has never been forcibly incorporated into Chinese territory. In other words,
(1) the transfer of sovereignty to Japan in 1895 was “cession” not “military occupation” as ac_dropout (and other blue camp advocates) would have us believe. Hence,
(2) Taiwan was not a part of ROC territory upon the founding of the ROC in (approx.) 1912, moreover
(3) the Allies never recognized any transfer of the sovereignty of Taiwan territory to the ROC (or the PRC) on Oct. 25, 1945, or any date thereafter. In fact,
(4) Oct. 25, 1945 only marked the beginning of the military occupation of Taiwan, and “military occupation does not transfer sovereignty.” (Claims of the acquirement of sovereignty at some later date such as 1987, 1996, 2000, etc. … based on the rationale of [color=darkblue]PRESCRIPTION[/color] cannot apply because “military occupation does not transfer sovereignty.”) Importantly,
(5) the procedures for incorporating Taiwan into ROC territory via Article 4 of the ROC Constitution have never been completed,
(6) the United States and other leading nations have never recognized the ROC as “the legitimate civil government of Taiwan.” The ROC exercises territorial control over Taiwan but not sovereignty. Hence, it cannot join the United Nations (under whatever nomenclature).
(7) Taiwan remains as “occupied territory” in the present era – in other words it has not reached a “final political status.” This means that the status of Taiwan is “undetermined,” which again (under international law) means that Taiwan is occupied territory.
(8) ROC/Taiwan is not a state. This is confirmed by the following recent announcements –

b[/b] In July 2007 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report for the US Congress entitled “Evolution of the One China Policy.” In the Summary at the beginning of that report the following points were made –
(1) The United States did not explicitly state the sovereign status of Taiwan in the three US-PRC Joint Communiques of 1972, 1979, and 1982.
(2) The United States “acknowledged” the “One China” position of both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
(3) US policy has not recognized the PRC’s sovereignty over Taiwan;
(4) US policy has not recognized Taiwan as a sovereign country; and
(5) US policy has considered Taiwan’s status as undetermined.

b[/b] Aug. 30, 2007 Dennis Wilder, National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asian Affairs said: Taiwan, or the Republic of China, is not at this point a state in the international community. The position of the United States government is that the ROC – Republic of China – is an issue undecided, and it has been left undecided, as you know, for many, many years.

Well, that settles that. I retract my nomination of George Psalmanazar, and propose Hartzell as the father of the U.S. territory of Taiwan. (Said award to be presented by the first government official to embrace his interpretation.)

I suggest that the admins add a bot to F.com so that every time the word ‘retrocession’ is mentioned, an auto-Hartzell-response is generated.

Hartzel’s point is quite valid. There never was any “retrocession” as in 1945 internationally recognized sovereignty over Taiwan belonged to Japan and would until 1952 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect.

As for the founder of modern Taiwan, that’s a tough choice. Maybe one of the Japanese colonial administrators who did so much to create the shape of the island’s infrastructure, maybe KT Li, the technocrat who helped shove the Chiang regime into an export-oriented economic mode, or maybe US AID administrators, who prevented the Chiang regime from shutting down small Taiwanese capitalists in the 1950s, and thus preserved that sector that would go on to pioneer the export boom in the 1960s.

Tough choice, though.


Hartzel’s point is quite valid.[/quote]
A song that is overplayed, no matter how melodious, becomes tiresome.

Article 25 of the SFPT specifically provided that the Treaty did “not confer any rights, titles or benefits on any State which [was] not an Allied Power [as defined in Article 23(a),]” subject to certain narrow exceptions set forth in Article 21. Accordingly, China, a non-party, did not receive “any right, titles or benefits” under the SFPT except as specifically provided in Article 21.

According to Article 21, China, a non-party, was entitled only to two benefits: one under Article 10(a), which abrogated the Peking Protocol previously signed by China and Japan; and another under Article 14(a)(2), which enabled China to seize the Japanese property within China’s jurisdiction at the time of the SFPT’s entry into force. China did not receive any other benefits under the SFPT according to its terms.

Specifically, China, a non-party, was not entitled to any benefits under Article 2(b) dealing with the territory of Taiwan. The parties to the SFPT chose not to give any “right, title [or] claim to Formosa and the Pescadores” to China.

Commenting on the territorial cession of Taiwan, D. D. Eisenhower said: “The Japanese peace treaty of 1951 ended Japanese sovereignty over the islands but did not formally cede them to ‘China,’ either Communist or Nationalist.”
(source: Mandate for Change 1953-1956, by Dwight D. Eisenhower, published in 1963 by Doubleday & Co., New York, page 461.)

Even if this rhetorical debate had any real world implications, the conclusion you reach is clearly wrong. Taiwan was not occupied on behalf of the United States government, but the “Allied Powers”. McArthur’s General Order No. 1 is very explicit in that he’s acting on behalf of all of the Allied Powers in his capacity as “Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers”, rather than in his capacity as US General of the Army.

In all of your discussion, you glibly insist that the title of “principal occupying power” is equivalent to sole occupying power. In some of your discussions, you go as far as warping the use of “principal” as adjective into “principal” as noun. (See: taiwankey.net/dc/suippext.htm)

This is an abuse of the English language, as well as the spirit of the multilateral Allied bodies established to govern occupied Japan. The United States Post-Surrender Policy which was the basic guideline of the occupation effort (drafted in August 1945) lays this down as a fundamental premise:

The occupation shall have the character of an operation in behalf of the principal allied powers acting in the interests of the United Nations at war with Japan.


In Taiwan, who is the occupying power? It is not the Allies. You are confusing the surrender ceremonies with the military occupation. The surrender ceremonies on Oct. 25, 1945, were conducted on behalf of the Allies. After that, the military occupation of Taiwan began.

Who is the occupying power? It is the United States of America.

I can’t imagine where you are finding this type of analysis. I never insist that. The significance of “principal occupying power” is to recognize that there are “subordinate occupying powers” within the theatre.


The Allied Powers defeated Japan, and it surrendered on September 2, 1945. The Japanese representatives signed the Instrument of Surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri anchored with other United States and British ships in Tokyo Bay.

Shortly after the signing of the Instrument of Surrender, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, issued General Order No. 1 ordering the “senior Japanese commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within . . . Formosa” to “surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.” Pursuant to the General Order No. 1, Chiang Kai-shek, a military and political leader of the ROC, was a “representative of the Allied Powers empowered to accept surrender” of the Japanese forces, himself or through a representative.

Under General Order No. 1 surrender was to the Allies, and the United States was the legal occupier (aka “principal occupying power.”) The Chinese Nationalists were still officially subject to the supreme authority of General MacArthur, who was the Commander in Chief of United States Armed Forces in the Far East. It was the United States Military Government (USMG) whom was legally occupying Japan and her territorial dependencies like Formosa.

Taiwan has remained an undetermined cession under the SFPT, but it is not terra nullius, it is being held by the military arm of the US government. As per Article 4b, the United States Military Government (USMG) has the right to dispose of Formosan/Pescadorean property. (In treaties since Guadalupe-Hidalgo of 1848, “property” has been uniformly understood to encompass real property, i.e. territorial sovereignty.)

Military government continues until legally supplanted, and there has been no US announcement of the end of USMG jurisdiction over Taiwan from 1952 up to the present day.

The U.S. does not have any official presence here in Taiwan. Sure, it has a few U.S. State Dept. employees camped out in a couple of buildings, as well as a couple of Customs officials based down in Kaohsiung under the Container Security Initiative (CSI before the TV show got to be more famous) arrangements by which we pre-inspect cargo coming to the U.S. But I think it would be hard to find anyone in U.S. government who actually thinks that we have any jurisdiction over Taiwan.

International Law is not merely made up by little bits of paper, receipts and formalized agreements, it can also be made up from consistent behavior – custom and practice, as it were. A party may advance a claim “Taiwan is part of China” and unless that is opposed, then eventually that claim will stand.

From 1895 to 1945, the Japanese claimed Taiwan as part of their territory, and there were helpful bits of paper to prove it.

From 1945 to 1949, Taiwan was made into part of the Republic of China, which executed jurisdiction over it by literally taking posession of the island and treating it as a territory over which its inhabitants were its citizens. No competing claim was laid by the U.S. during any of this time, and the PRC and Japan were in no position to defend any competing claims. We had a U.S. consulate in Taipei during those years, and yet not a single protest was ever issued over the issuance of ROC ID cards to the inhabitants, the conscription of locals into the ROC military, the dispensation of “justice” by ROC police and ROC prosecutors and ROC judges? Well, there were no diplomatic protests because the U.S. had no actual claims to jurisdiction over Taiwan.

From 1949 to the present, there has always been a party that has claimed Taiwan is part of China – for some of that time it was both the PRC and the ROC representatives claiming this but for the recent years it’s primarily the PRC reps and a few hardcore unificationists in Taiwan. Those hardcore few in Taiwan are pretty much literally dying out – or at least their voices cannot be heard over the sound of their respirator machines. But that does not change the facts that the ROC government continues to control this territory, that the PRC’s competing claim has never been fully enforced and that the U.S. has absented itself from any claims to jurisdiction.

But of course, the ROC does presently exercise jurisdiction over parts of Fujian Province – the islands of Jinmen and Matsu. And ROC remnant units gladly conducted narco-resistance in the Golden Triangle areas of Southern China. (One map I once saw had ROC flags flying proudly in Yunnan Province, Kinmen, Matsu, as well as Taiwan.)

Hmmm, doesn’t that mean CKS founded “Taiwan” since the islands are no longer referred to as Formosa.

The strange thing is that without CKS and all the troops, planes and U.S. support that accompanied CKS, Taiwan would have been stuck as a backwater of the PRC. Had CKS fought his final stand in Shanghai or been cornered in some other province, there really would have been no stopping the PRC from taking Taiwan. We’d be known for lovely tea and essentially serve as the hot-springs bathhouse for ailing communist leaders to get some R&R among the local ladies. Without CKS and the troops and support he got, the concept for a “Taiwan” nation had no chance whatsoever.

don’t think so. The US wouldn’t serve Taiwan to the communists in a golden plate, simply because Taiwan is part of the contingency plan for China. If you ever doubt that, don’t forget that they had bases over here… CKS just profited from the strategical positioning of Taiwan to have his little own playground. The US supported dictatorships who pleased them, being CKS/KMT no different than many others.

If CKS would have been killed in a mainland last stand or arrested and put on trial by Mao’s guys, what’s the likelihood of Taiwan being a defendable proposition? The U.S. could afford to put some weight behind CKS because they’d previously known him as the big G-Mo for China for 20 years and his wife had been crawling all over the U.S. Congress for ages. What’s the likelihood that the U.S. would have rallied around the likes of, say, Chen Yi in the face of the commies rolling over to an island that, without CKS and his 2 million troops, had no immediately apparent value in the face of the U.S.-China war we’d likely find ourselves dragged into? South Korea at least had Rhee for us to rally behind, but without CKS and only a corrupt little jerk like Chen Yi and a few backwater police troops it’s likely that Taiwan would have simply ripely fell into Mao’s hands. No need to serve it on a platter.

Maybe Taiwan would have stayed in US hands for a while, until Washington would find a suitable solution. Giving it to China would mean to share the control of the pacific with the communists… something the Americans where/are not willing.