KMT's Retrocession Day celebrations not linked to 'one-China': Ma

10/25/2020 04:23 PM
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Former President Ma Ying-jeou. CNA File Photo
Former President Ma Ying-jeou. CNA File Photo

Taipei, Oct. 25 (CNA) Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said Sunday that his party, the Kuomintang (KMT,國民黨), is holding a series of events to mark the 75th anniversary of Taiwan's retrocession to highlight the close links between the Republic of China and Taiwan.

The commemorative events have nothing to do with Beijing's "one-China principle" that sees Taiwan as part of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Ma said in a Facebook post.

Ma was responding to criticism by ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳), who accused the KMT of using the occasion to play along with the Chinese government's "one-China principle" and its events commemorating the day.

According to the KMT, Taiwan officially returned to the domain of the Republic of China on Oct. 25, 1945, nearly two months after Japan surrendered at the end of World War II.

Taiwan became a colony of the Empire of Japan when the Chinese Qing Empire lost the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894 and ceded the island with the signing of the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki.

The PRC government held a round of seminars in Beijing on Oct. 22 to commemorate the day, during which Wang Yang (汪洋), the chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said Taiwan's retrocession proved that the island "has always been part of China."

In his Facebook post, Ma, who served as R.O.C. president from 2008 to 2016, refuted Yen's accusation, saying that such a remark showed some people's "ignorance of historical facts" and their "confused national identity."

Ma said it was because the R.O.C. government defeated Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945 that Taiwan was able to return to the R.O.C.

The retrocession freed Taiwanese from half a century of repressive Japanese colonial rule and paved the way for today's democracy, freedom and prosperity in Taiwan, according to Ma.

Commemorating Taiwan Retrocession Day is a reminder of the close links between the R.O.C. and Taiwan and it should be a responsibility of all R.O.C. presidents, Ma said.

The KMT in recent days has held a serious of events, including an online exhibition featuring historical materials and photographs preserved by the party related to Taiwan's return to the Republic of China, and a concert to mark the day.

The main opposition party has criticized the ruling DPP of not holding a commemorative event to mark Taiwan Retrocession Day this year.

The pro-independence DPP is more ambivalent over the handover, considering it a lost opportunity for Taiwan to emerge as an independent entity in the postwar era.

Taiwan Retrocession Day had been a public holiday since 1946 until a DPP government in Dec. 2000 amended the Implementation Regulations on Memorial Days and Holidays (紀念日及節日實施辦法) to remove Retrocession Day's public holiday status.

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Joseph Yeh)

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