Countering claims that Cairo Declaration was illegitimate
The China Post news staff
December 5, 2013, 12:24 am TWN
This year marked the 70th anniversary of the Cairo Declaration, the outcome of a meeting attended by Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek. The communique declared that the Empire of Japan should restore control of Taiwan and other territories to the Republic of China upon its surrender.
Taiwan National Alliance convener Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) said recently that the Ma administration and Beijing share the same stance on the Cairo Declaration, arguing that President Ma Ying-jeou is pursuing ultimate reunification between Taiwan and mainland China, and that the president's actions are tantamount to treason.
Yao said that the Cairo Declaration is essentially a “press release” and is not a legally binding document in any way, implying that the R.O.C. government had illegally seized Taiwan following Japan's defeat in World War II.
What Yao failed to mention is that the Japanese Instrument of Surrender signed by Mamoru Shigemitsu on behalf of the emperor of Japan and the Japanese government clearly stipulates that the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration are to be carried out. The Potsdam Declaration, released in 1945, in turn states that the terms of the Cairo Declaration, released in 1943, are to be enforced, and, as was mentioned before, the Cairo Declaration clearly states that Taiwan was to be restored to the R.O.C.
Are we to infer that the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was not a legally binding document either?
Yao argued that, with the document seen as a non-legally binding “press release” along with mainland Chinese authorities, the Ma administration is clearly aiming for reunification. What Yao again failed to mention is that the so-called press release was issued in 1943, six years before the “People's Republic of China” was proclaimed by Mao Zedong, let alone that the document clearly and in no uncertain terms refers to the Republic of China. The Cairo Declaration no more binds Taiwan to the Chinese Communist Party than the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.