Ma: ROC will not cede one inch of Tiaoyutai
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-07 04:59 PM
President Ma Ying-jeou said Monday that July 7, this year the 77th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident in China, is a time for reflecting on historical errors and historical truths. He noted that Tiaoyutai has been administered by Japan for 50 years on the basis of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. In addition, certain fisheries agreements between Taiwan and Japan mean that the rights of Taiwanese fishermen to troll the waters off of Tiaoyutai are protected. In the matter of territorial sovereignty, however, cautioned Ma, the ROC is not willing to cede a single inch of territory.

July 7 is the 77th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and also the 120th anniversary of the Sino-Japanese War. President Ma Ying-jeou made his remarks on Tiaoyutai during a press conference for the "Memorial Exhibition on the War against Japan and the Retrocession of Taiwan" in Taipei. He noted, "The war against Japan was a very hard, tragic and brutal war, and what did we get from it?" Ma said the war gave Western powers stronger positions in China, but it also led to the abolition of all unequal treaties, with one of the most important results being the retrocession of Taiwan.

Ma cited the history of Nazi Germany as an example of a people feeling deep remorse for their country’s actions. He emphasized that "historical errors are forgivable, and historical truths cannot be forgotten. Let us keep this in mind as we look back on history and look into the future."

Ma added that on occasions when the Marco Polo Bridge Incident is recalled, it is important to also reflect on the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration as well as the Treaty of San Francisco. These agreements led to the return of the Republic of Taiwan and the Pescadores, "but not the return of Tiaoyutai." He stressed that "we will not cede a single inch of our territorial sovereignty” and pledged that the government will continue to focus on this goal.

Ma added, "We must not forget that Taioyutai was the first piece of Chinese territory to fall to Japanese aggression. Three months before the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, Japan's Cabinet ordered monuments declaring Japanese sovereignty to be set up on the islands of Tiaoyutai. This action was not announced, and Japan’s occupation of Chinese territory should in effect be "void ab initio" in international law.

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