Refuting Richard W. Hartzell

Richard W. Hartzell, B.S. in Economics and hobby historian / legal scholar on Taiwan’s past and present legal and political situation – an overall quite influential man among the “51st State Theory”-adherents is probably one of the most well-spoken, well-mannered and rationally thinking ROC-deniers.  

But since he argues with reason instead of the typical emotional banter of DPP/TSU disciples, he is obviously the easiest to refute.

Richard W. Hartzell’s core theory is this:

“The Republic of China is a government-in-exile since she lost her rightful territory – China sans Formosa (Taiwan) – and relocated to Taiwan, Allied occupied territory with the United States of America as the principal occupying power.”

Therefore, by Hartzell’s arguing,

  1. the Republic of China (ROC) is a government-in-exile.
  2. is a subordinate occupying power of the United States of America. 
  3. does not legitimately govern the territory of Taiwan.


What is wrong about this?

While the Republic of China did lose the most of her territory to the Communist Party between 1945 and 1949, not all of “China sans Taiwan” was lost: Kinmen and Matsu, part of Fujian Province and therefore completely distinct from Taiwan both in history and administrative division, have been ROC territory since 1911 and and undisputed part of China for centuries.

Saying that the ROC is a government-in-exile although she still governs portions of her original territory, or to put it into other words: she has not lost control over all Mainland China (China sans Taiwan), is a logical fallacy.

In history, governments-in-exile suchs as Poland in World War II lost complete control over their rightful territory, thus the term “…-in-exile”.

The current situation of the ROC is rather that of a rump state, a scenario well-known in Chinese history: in the 17th century the Qing Dynasty government overthrew the Ming Dynasty government, which gradually lost control over China to the Qing government (including Taiwan) until only tiny portions were left. Eventually the Ming Dynasty’s last retreat was Taiwan under by General Koxinga (鄭成功). In 1644 Taiwan as well was ruled by the Qing Dynasty government.
As an interesting experiment, replace Qing Dynasty with Communists/PRC, Ming Dynasty with Republic of China and Koxinga with Chiang Kai-shek.

As to what the status of Taiwan between 1895 – 1945 influences the current legal situation, few words suffice: the Treaty of Shimonoseki in which China ceded Taiwan to Japan was formally valid under international law. The Chinese (both ROC and PRC) perspective is that this treaty is null and void from the very beginning.

Richard W. Hartzell disagrees with the Chinese position and therefore argues that the people on Taiwan are

  1. neither Chinese (ROC) citizens since they lost Chinese nationality upon cession of Taiwan to Japan,
  2. nor is Taiwan a part of China (ROC) since the outcome of the treaty, Taiwan’s cession to Japan was valid.

Even when following Hartzell’s line of argument, the following comes to mind:

  1. When the 1947 ROC Constitution was drafted, Taiwanese delegates were sent to attend the National Assembly in charge of drafting the constitution. Therefore, the Taiwanese contributed to the very foundation of the Republic of China and thus made the sound collective decision to be a part of China and henceforth be Chinese nationals.
  2. While the ROC constitution of 1947 mandates for parliamentary approval to alter the nation’s boundaries, i.e. incorporating Taiwan, this was not necessary under 1945 law when the ROC regained control of Taiwan from Japan.

But of course to some Taiwan will always the 51st State.

Danish Know-Nothing Michael Danielsen

Danish Socialist Party Member Michael Danielsen has once more exhibited his complete lack of knowledge on Taiwan’s real political situation and even goes so far to insult people with a different opinion from himself and his supporters at the DPP’s European outlet “taiwancorner” in his most recent Taipei Times editorial.


People in the international community who continue to believe that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) policies secure Taiwan’s unique position in the world must suffer from collective tomfoolery.

According to Merriam Webster, a “tomfool” is a great fool –  an idiot. Nice of Michael Danielsen, the Danish Socialist, to start an article this way without having provided a SINGLE argument!

Such pluralistic ignorance is widespread because almost everyone has praised Ma’s efforts in creating peace across the Taiwan Strait, defending Taiwan’s international position and fighting for its democracy. Those who know no better follow the crowd in believing that his achievements are beyond reproach.

Not like the smart Mr. Danielsen, he knows everything about Taiwan – even better than most Taiwan people. Wait – is he even from Taiwan? No! He is a Danish Socialist, from the same party that broke off diplomatic relations between Denmark and Taiwan in the 1960s!

Moreover, it has been noticed that Taiwan is listed as a province of China by the WHO.

Yes, and last time we checked Taiwan’s WTO membership has been negotiated during Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian’s presidencies. These two men are Mr. Danielsen’s personal heroes of the so called “taiwan democratization”. Funny that the latter is in jail for stealing from the Taiwan people.

It is disturbing that Ma has apparently hinted that Taiwan does not need the upgrade for its old F-16s that the US has offered.

Now the best part about this complete factual lie is that even the green editors at the Taipei Times took offense and posted the following editorial note below Communist Danielsen‘s article:

[Editor’s note: President Ma never hinted that Taiwan does not need an upgrade for the F-16A/Bs, a package that was notified to US Congress in September last year and for which the Ministry of National Defense is expected to sign the letter of agreement by the end of next month. Where the Ma administration appears to be having second thoughts is on the issue of the F-16C/Ds, which Washington has yet to make available.]

It seems like somebody didn’t do his homework! What a know-nothing that Mr. Danielsen is. He might even be a  tomfool!

The Infallibility of Tsai Ing-wen

“Dr. Tsai” (as she is called by her foreign disciples), totally missed the topics that are important and most Taiwan people feel strongly about. Instead she chose  “social justice” (which essentially is the kind of Euro-socialism that drove Greece, Portugal and France into debt) and a “Taiwan consensus”  as the main topics of her campaign. The latter “Taiwan consensus” was especially detrimental to her election outcome. Not in the way, that most Taiwan people do not want a consensus in the ROC’s dealings with Mainland China, but given the DPP’s record in terrible Taiwan-Mainland relations, Tsai’s so called consensus did not seem like an actual consensus, but an excuse to halt and reverse all the progress that has been made in the previous four years of Ma Ying-jeou. And the voters in Taiwan know very well that their economic prosperity depends on the relations with Beijing, regardless of the legal status of Taiwan or even Taiwan independence.

Tsai Ing-wen’s “consensus” was regarded as too soft by staunch secessionists, the traditional DPP voters and as too ambiguous and potentially dangerous by unaffiliated voters who wished to see a reasonable, rather technocratic President. “Dr. Tsai” was however never regarded as a technocrat despite the pro-green media constantly referring to her as “Doctor” in contrast to the uneducated “Mr. Ma”. Which is all in all quite funny, as President Ma Ying-jeou is a Doctor of law.

In her election review Tsai Ing-wen once more exhibited her subtle arrogance and infallibility: she did not come up with any criticism for her campaign and blamed it all on Beijing and the Kuomintang.

Former Mainland Affairs Council vice chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said the report lacked introspection, in particular about Tsai herself and her campaign team, and had totally “missed the point.”

Supporters of the Taiwan’s democracy should be happy about this, as exactly that behavior is the reason the DPP will continue loosing elections.


Taipei Times: Serious Identity Confusion

Have a look at the screenshot below from today’s online edition of the Taipei Times. Interestingly, while that English language propaganda rag published by the Liberty Times group is always very careful to not only constantly make a distinction between Taiwan and China* (as if these were different countries – ridiculous!), but also spread the typical nativist DPP-chauvinism, the folks at the Taipei Times have no issues whatsoever with making money off Mainland mail-order brides. Yes seriously, Chinese mail-order brides. The Taipei Times entered a whole new level of green journalism and is on its way of becoming another Taiwan News.

* Although usually the so called journalists at the Taipei Times do a terrible job at doing so: anybody involved in the martial law era government and public administration automatically becomes Chinese (read: bad!), anybody who contributed to Taiwan’s society becomes Taiwanese (read: holy!), regardless of his heritage. At times that general confusion can be really funny when Taiwan-born KMT politicians become Chinese Nationalists and China-born veterans involved in philanthropy become Taiwanese heroes. On a side note, it is worthy mentioning that the Taipei Times only accepts job applications of R.O.C. citizens – yet at the same time decries any kind of perceived discrimination of  Taiwanese abroad – such as being called Chinese. Now that surely is some tough discrimination…Please keep in mind that R.O.C. (Taiwan) passports list “Republic of China” as the nationality of the holder.

Political Dictionary

“DPP – Democratic Progressive Party” [民主進步黨; Mínzhǔ Jìnbù Dǎng] – association of nativist extremists pushing for a “republic of taiwan” and Hoklo nationalism.

The DPP is essentially a group of Mainland Chinese immigrants that came 5 minutes ago claiming to be the “true Taiwanese” and the only group to “truly love Taiwan” while considering those Mainland Chinese immigrants who came 2 minutes ago to be evil foreigners who are not  Taiwanese and unable to truly love Taiwan. Ironically these “true Taiwanese”  only became the “true Taiwanese” after they had stolen the island from aboriginal tribes.