OPINION: The False Promise of a Taiwan-China Cross-Strait Peace Treaty

For Beijing, forging a peace deal with Taipei is like making a promise with its fingers crossed.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/02/22

Credit: AP / Yomiuri Shimbun

In Doraemon, Takeshi “Gian” Gouda (Big G) always likes bullying Nobita Noby (Noby), beating him senseless and causing chaos within their class. In one episode, Suneo Honekawa (Sneech) comes up with what he thinks is an ingenious idea, which is to have Big G and Noby “pinky swear” to reconcile their differences in front of the whole class and vow never to violate the promise. Worried for Noby, Shizuka Minamoto (Sue) instantly objects: “That won’t work, a pinky promise doesn’t count! I think we should have Big G and Noby sign an actual agreement and post that publicly on the class bulletin board.” When Big G hears their idea he breaks out in laughter, because to him a pinky promise or a signature on a bulletin board means nothing to him. Either way, he will still beat up Noby after class.

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping (席習近) reiterated on Jan. 2 his idea of a “one country, two systems” policy for Taiwan, the Taiwanese media has frequently reported that politicians such as the Kuomintang (KMT)’s Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Eric Chu (朱立倫) have suggested the possibility of signing a “cross-Strait peace agreement” with China. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and many others have explicitly expressed their opposition.

Credit: Facebook / Wu Den-yihKMT chairman Wu Den-yih.
Chiang Huang-chih (姜皇池), a professor of international law at the National Taiwan University College of Law, also pointed out that a peace “agreement” comes under “domestic law” – if Taiwan were to sign the agreement, it would fall into China’s so-called “domestic jurisdiction” trap. Taiwan would have to return to a central framework, turning Taiwan’s issues into Chinese ones and increasing the difficulty of either the U.S., Japan or any other nation getting involved. Chiang’s argument has quickly spread among the pan-Green camp and was instantly turned into a meme featuring the words: “Signing means recognizing Taiwan as China!”

Chiang Huang-chih is one of Taiwan’s most well-known international affairs and international law scholars and one of its most respected legal experts. However, not only is Professor Chiang’s theory that the cross-Strait peace agreement has no effect in international law wrong on a strict international law basis, but it has also completely missed the point of the discussion.    [FULL  STORY]

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