For over four decades after the Allied victors in the second world war allowed Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese government to reclaim Taiwan from Japan, the generalissimo’s Kuomintang maintained a ruthless Leninist-style dictatorship over the island. Yet KMT propaganda hoodwinked many outside the island to believe that it, unlike the Maoist regime that chased it from mainland China in 1949, was the defender of democracy, the rule of law and human rights for Chinese people.
Posts Tagged ‘ taiwan ’
Earlier this month Taiwan concluded a United Nations-type review of its implementation of the two principal human rights treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). It is the first time Taiwan has undergone an outside, comprehensive evaluation of its human rights record in a wide range of areas. Although this on-site review received little international or local media attention, its effects on the island’s human rights should not be underestimated.
On March 1, Taiwan concluded a United Nations-type review of its implementation of the two principal human rights treaties, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). A group of international experts, who were invited to Taiwan to conduct the review in their individual capacity, issued their “Concluding Observations and Recommendations,” identifying a slew of issues concerning whether Taiwan’s government has met the requirements of the two major treaties. This on-site review was the first time that the government of Taiwan invited independent international experts to systematically evaluate its human rights records in accordance with the two Covenants.
The PRC government must be cautious in how it handles these problems and is necessarily slow to involve PRC officials. The use of non-officials keeps the issue alive without implicating the government directly. The more interesting question is not why the PRC allows non-officials to act but why the Japanese government allowed them to land on an island it controls. It obviously decided that to prevent them from landing would heat matters up more than allowing them to land would and Japan wants to minimize the inevitable friction the interlopers cause.
Just forty years ago, President Richard Nixon arrived in Beijing for what he immodestly but accurately called “the week that changed the world”. Knowledgeable observers knew that the success of the visit – so crucial to Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign – would turn on how he and his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, dealt with the status of Taiwan. That question had been central to Sino-American relations since the Communist victory in the Chinese civil war and establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and it continues to be today.