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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sixty four years of mismanagement which brought misfortune to Taiwan and still counting

While most media were reporting on Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan, I would like to bring my readers' attention to the 64th anniversary of the General Order No.1, which brought the Chinese Nationalist troops to Taiwan.

I don't know how people see the recent failure of the DPP's ECFA referendum drive to pass the Executive Yuan's Referendum Review Committee. I consider the current version of referendum law actually hinders democracy.

In the meantime, I'd like to bring up the subject of UNRRA's unfinished involvement in Taiwan from a human rights point of view. A while back, I described Taiwan's status as:
While the will of the Taiwanese people is overlooked and the SFPT puts it in limbo, Taiwan’s status has been complicated by the problem of who (ROC or PRC) represents China, and is caused by the deployment of ROC’s Nationalist army after WWII by Allied Forces.
From human rights POV, I described the prolonged lack of Taiwanese representation, the word Allied in my description above is linked to the UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration ceased operation in 1952 and its functions were mainly transferred to the UNHCR) because Taiwan was put under the administrative control of the Republic of China in 1945 by the UNRRA.
If China takes Taiwan without a Taiwanese referendum (outside of the the ROC's framework), Taiwanese (especially in the southern part) will become IDPs (Internally displaced persons), a burden for the exhausted UN agency. That's why China seeks the alternative way, the ECFA way, to accomplish its mission of "unifying" Taiwan first economically before a total political integration.
Near the end of WWII, under an agreement with the UNRRA, the Chinese National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (CNRRA) was authorized to take possession of relief supplies and to distribute them. Critics have alleged that much of the aid was misappropriated. The CNRRA was but an organization that help channel the international aid to profit a few individuals in China, namely the Chiang, Soong (Chiang Kai-Shek's wife's family).
The UNRRA-CNRRA Story (Chapter 8 of the Formosa Betrayed book), is a very critical and extensive account by George H Kerr of the US Consulate in Taiwan about the misappropriated fund involving CNRRA's operations in Formosa. The Notes at the end of the chapter gave names and clues for directions where to look for further information:
1. The Summary of UNRRA-CNRRA activities and observations is based principally on the following:
(a)Twenty-four personal letters addressed to Paine and Kerr by UNRRA-CNRRA team members.
(b)Twenty weekly reports from the Formosa Regional Office to the Office of the Economic and Financial Advisor, China Office (Shanghai) UNRRA; 133 pp., mimeo.
(c) Special Reports to Walter D. Fitzpatrick, Director, Taiwan Regional Office, by E. E. Paine, Reports Officer, n.d.
(d) Summary Report, Taiwan Regional Office (Taipei), Sept. 15, 1946, 15 pp.
(e) Reports on Industrial Rehabilitation, by Allen E. Shackelton (UNRRA-New Zealand), Taipei, 1946, 14 pp.
(f) Reports on the Work of CNRRA, Taiwan Regional Office (April 1, 1946), CNRRA's Emergency Sanitary Engineering Project (September 11, 1946) and on Public Welfare Projects (August, 1946), Taipei, 27 pp. mimeo.
(g) Special Report on Government-CNRRA Handling of Hainan Repatriates. UNRRA-Taiwan Regional Office (Taipei, Oct. 11, 1946), 2 pp.
(h) Report on the February 28 Incident and Subsequent Events to 15 March 1946. UNRRA-Taiwan Regional Office (Taipei, March 17, 1947), 9 pp.
(i) History of the UNRRA-Taiwan Regional Office (Taipei, n.d.), 25 pp.
(j) Allen E. Shackleton: "Formosa - Unhappy Golden Goose," World Affairs (Quarterly journal of the UN Association of New Zealand), Vol. 4, No. 2 (June 1948), pp. 28-29.
2. Edward E. Paine (UNRRA Reports Officer): Notes on the UNRRA Program, 1946-1947 (n.d.), 10 pp. mimeo.
3. Ira D. Hirschy, M.D. (Chief Medical Officer, UNRRA, Taiwan): "The World is Sick, the Cure is Difficult," Plantation Health (Honolulu, Hawaii), Vol. XII, No. 2 (April 1948), pp. 9-15.
4. Mary Mumford (Public Welfare Officer, UNRRA, Taiwan), letter dated July 6, 1948.
5. Hsin Sheng Pao (Taipei), May 2, 1946.
6. Mary Mumford, loc. cit.

When “Formosa Betrayed” was published in 1965, Chiang Kai-Shek immediately bought the English copy right from the publisher. Chiang just wanted to prevent the book from further publishing. After eating up the international aid money, how can Chiang be not rich enough on attempting to conceal history, his ugly involvement of the 228 Massacre?

I recommend readers to view this post (a short speech and a must read) about the story behind writing-up of the Formosa Betrayed book, and a doctor's safekeeping of a bullet from the 228 Massacre. Pay attention to the irresponsible position by the American Consul back then and the UNRRA's lack of channels to raise an issue.

Did the source of KMT's wealth partially come from the misappropriated UNRRA's international aid? or did it all go into personal accounts?

Even the Marshall Islands with a population of around 62,000 obtained sovereignty and became independent in 1986, why does Taiwan with 23 million people remain legally uncertain? Instead, Taiwan's residents continue to fight internally the KMT-dominated Legislative Yuan and the ROC's undemocratic referendum law (KMT's best invention) while externally they are constantly being threatened by China's missiles. The strategic ambiguity of Taiwan's legal status may serve the interests of the stakeholders but it is indeed a gorss violation of human rights, depriving Taiwanese from participating in international organizations which require statehood for membership applications.

Related reading:

評選五十本最能孕育臺灣人文意識與臺灣意識的書 (how a list of 50 books were chosen to be best representative of promoting Taiwanese identity) from 李學圖


阿牛 said...

Great post, coveringa lot of ground here!

Άλισον said...

Other post related to this one is the Chiang’s Gold: Where is it?

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