Australian scholar touts new thinking on Taiwan's future

2018/11/09 20:20:34 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Image taken from Pixabay

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) Bruce Jacobs, a leading expert on the political history of Taiwan, on Friday urged the Taiwanese public to revisit the country's current status and envision its future beyond the "One China" narrative that often downgrades Taiwan as a nation state.

There are numerous discussions Taiwan needs to raise national awareness, including the revision of its flag, national day and national anthem as they were all brought by the Kuomintang (KMT) colonial regime, Jacobs said during a speech at the Australian Office in Taipei.

The emeritus professor of Asian Languages and Studies at Monash University said he hopes that such discussions, among others, will lead to a "paradigm shift" for Taiwan.

The new thinking also applies to Taiwan's foreign policy in order to wrest control from China and its attempts to introduce the "one-China" principle, under which Taiwan is part of its territory, said Jacobs.

"When you look at Taiwan and its foreign relations, I want to propose that we think about Taiwan in new ways and this is important not only for people in Taiwan but also for at least democratic powers around the world that have to deal with countries like Taiwan and China," he said.

One of the new agendas Jacobs suggests for Taiwan is to stop emphasizing its "so-called diplomatic allies" to legitimize its statehood.

In addition, he said, Taiwan should never sever relations with a state that recognizes the People's Republic of China, even if the state has been "insulting."

Jacobs cited the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, which codifies the declarative theory of statehood and is accepted as part of customary international law, stressing that Taiwan meets all its requirements for statehood.

That means that Taiwan does not need recognition from other countries to become a state, he explained.

Jacobs suggested that Taiwan should work closely with the world's democratic powers to establish more formal bilateral ties even as they maintain relations with China.

Jacobs has long been a fixture of the Taiwan studies community. He made his first trip to Taiwan in 1965 to study at National Taiwan University and has been a regular visitor ever since.

Despite being diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, Jacobs continues to pay attention to Taiwan's political scene and occasionally makes suggestions to the Taiwanese public.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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