A peace pact with China is not in Taiwan's interest: professor

02/20/2019 02:43 PM
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Law professor Chiang Huang-chih (姜皇池) / Image taken from College of Law, National Taiwan University website (www.law.ntu.edu.tw)
Law professor Chiang Huang-chih (姜皇池) / Image taken from College of Law, National Taiwan University website (www.law.ntu.edu.tw)

Taipei, Feb. 20 (CNA) Law professor Chiang Huang-chih (姜皇池) warned Tuesday of the potentially serious damage that could result from signing a peace accord with China, saying that doing so is not in Taiwan's interest.

In an interview with CNA on Tuesday, Chiang said signing a cross-strait peace accord would be tantamount to accepting that Taiwan is part of China, which could lead to U.S. arms sales being considered interference in China's internal affairs and thereby undermine the international legitimacy of such sales.

U.S. lawmakers passed the Taiwan Relations Act to supply arms to Taiwan in 1979, the same year Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

According to the international law expert, agreements and treaties are signed by sovereign countries and considered legally binding in terms of international law, while peace accords are signed by parties to a war within a state, thereby falling under the category of domestic law.

If the two sides were to sign a peace accord it would imply that Taipei acknowledges the current cross-strait relations are a continuation of the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the National Taiwan University professor said.

By extension that would make it an internal political matter for China and thus lead to the acknowledgement that Taiwan is part of China, he added.

In the event of future armed conflict between the two sides, any country that intervened would risk violating international law.

According to Chiang, international organizations would only become involved if the conflict resulted in serious casualties, a humanitarian crisis or threatened regional peace and security.

In addition, there is no guarantee that signing a peace accord with China would help Taiwan avoid a war, Chiang noted.

The ceasefire agreement signed by the KMT and the CCP in 1946 failed to end the civil war, he said.

Raymond Sung (宋承恩), an international law scholar and deputy executive at the pro-independence Taiwan New Constitution Foundation, expressed a similar view.

It is important to consider whether a peace accord really meet the needs of Taiwanese people, he said on Monday.

Sung also questioned the necessity of signing a peace accord.

At this point, the threat to peace in Taiwan comes from the other side of the Taiwan Strait, Sung said.

Beijing should stop its military threats against Taipei, and this can be achieved without signing any agreement, he added.

Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations is more important than the proposed peace accord at this moment, Sung said.

The academics' comments came after opposition KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said on Feb. 14 that the KMT would consider signing a peace accord with Beijing in accordance with the law if it regains the presidency in 2020.

Responding to that proposal, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said Tuesday that Taiwan should not sign a peace accord with China, which is the least friendly nation to Taiwan.

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) head Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) noted that Taiwanese have great doubts about a peace accord with China, especially after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) spoke about reunification with Taiwan based on the "one country, two systems" model.

"Exactly what kind of peace accord are we signing, if we sign one at this moment?" Chen asked.

A bill that would subject any peace accord with China to a national referendum was one of 47 bills the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and party legislators agreed Monday to prioritize for review during the current legislative session, which started last Friday.

(By Elaine Hou, Wang Yang-yu, Christie Chen and Chung Yu-chen)


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