On 11 May 2017 the third lecture in the Soochow University “Yen Chia-Kan Law Lecture Series” took place at Puren Lecture Hall with Professor Ma Ying-Jeou giving a talk to a full house of students and professors on “Building Peaceful and Democratic Cross-Strait Relations from an International Law Perspective.” Ma, in his talk, covered topics ranging from the divided nations in the aftermath of World War II to the delicate political relations between Taiwan and Mainland China.
At the very beginning of his lecture, Professor Ma emphasized the importance of international law when it comes to cross-strait relations, despite the atypical nature of the Taiwan-China relationship. Ma cited examples of the divided nations of North and South Vietnam, East and West Germany, along with South and North Korea, and concluded that we have much to learn from the unification of the two Germanys. However, he said our situation is quite different; therefore following their example may not necessarily be the best solution. Professor Ma is of the opinion that cross-strait relations went from military conflicts to peaceful exchanges, and described the current state as being in an unstable cold rivalry.
Lastly, Professor Ma turned to the subject of One-China Policy pointing out that there are three approaches; some nations choose to take the policy in its entirety, others are vague on their positions, while still others opt not to take a stance. In other words, the international society is not siding only one way on the policy. Many have their reservations to leave some leeway so that future relations with Taiwan remain an option. In truth, Ma said, most nations have adopted their own version of the “One China, respective interpretations.” Thus, while maintaining our firm stance on the “One China, respective interpretations” we should also recognize that this is indeed the current state and trend in international relations.
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