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President attributes cross-strait advocacy to late scholar

2012/05/23 17:16:44

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Wednesday that his advocacy that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should not deny each other's authority to govern comes from his mentor, Chiu Hungdah, a noted international law scholar who died last year.

Speaking at a seminar to commemorate Chiu, a professor emeritus of law at the University of Maryland in the United States, the president commended Chiu for being the first to propose the idea that "the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should not deny each other as a political entity."

He said that Chiu's proposal gave him the idea of advocating "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" regarding cross-strait ties.

"This has also proved to be the most pragmatic option that is best able to solve the problems regarding cross-strait relations," the president said.

He noted that Chiu has long expressed hope that U.S. mainstream international law textbooks could contain more positive descriptions of the Republic of China.

Ma said he was gratified to find out that a major international law textbook published in 2009 mentions that he advocated in 2007 a mutual non-denial of authority upon which to base cross-strait relations.

The president said that although Chiu stayed in the United States for more than five decades, he continued to use the calendar of the Republic of China, never became a U.S. citizen and would even sign up as an ROC Army reservist when he returned to Taiwan.

Ma also showed a magazine that published the first article authored by Chiu on the disputed Tiaoyutai Islands -- called the Senkakus by the Japanese -- in the East China Sea, which are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.

Ma described it as a classic piece of writing that few others could manage to surpass.

He also lauded Chiu's efforts in the U.S. formulation of the Taiwan Relations Act, which provides a legal basis for the unofficial relations between Taiwan and the United States since the two sides severed formal relations in 1979.

(By Kelven Huang and Lilian Wu)