Cairo Declaration

The December 1943 Cairo Declaration that wrapped up a meeting held in Cairo between Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek is often cited as the primary legal foundation for the PRC’s and the ROC’s claims to territorial sovereignty over Taiwan.

At various public occasions, Beijing’s leaders have invoked the Cairo Declaration to establish that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The KMT has also long cited the Cairo Declaration as the legal basis for Taiwan’s return to the Republic of China.

On December 2013, for instance, former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou affirmed the validity of the Cairo Declaration as an “international treaty,” stating that it is the legal basis upon which Taiwan was restored to the ROC post-World War II.

After all, under international law, ONLY a treaty can settle the status of territories, right?

Ma stated: “In fact, the declaration is a treaty because there is no prescribed formality in terms of such agreements…From the perspective of international law, any concrete promise made by an official of a country in their capacity as head of state, prime minister or minister of foreign affairs is legally binding.”

But is it?

The US National Archives do not consider the Cairo Declaration a treaty. Several years ago, FAPA received a letter from the assistant archivist for records services at the Archives just outside Washington DC, who wrote: “The National Archives and Records Administration has not filed this [Cairo] declaration under treaties. […] The declaration was a communique and it does not have [a] treaty series (TS) or executive agreement series (EAS) number.”

The National Archives flatly contradict the KMT claims that the Declaration is a treaty, and with one fell swoop also voids the basis for Beijing’s “One China Principle” claims.

Indeed, the Cairo Declaration was merely intended as a “declaration of intent” about the world’s affairs among the three leaders – a mere statement of war aims, the territorial reassignments of which had to be solemnized in a formal peace treaty after Japan’s surrender. It has negligible status in international law as a treaty or convention.

Although important at the time, the Cairo Declaration does not have any legal binding power 65 plus years later, allowing neither the KMT nor the PRC to derive territorial claims from it.

開羅宣言

1943年12月1日發佈的「開羅宣言」,是一份總結邱吉爾、羅斯福和蔣介石在開羅舉行的一個會議的新聞公報,時常被中華民國與中華人民共和國引用作為其領土主權的法定基礎。

北京的領導人們時常在不同的公開場合引述開羅宣言,強調台灣是中國領土不可分割的一部分;中國國民黨長久以來也以開羅宣言作為台灣回歸中華民國的主張。

舉例來說,在2013年的12月,台灣前總統馬英九便曾斷言開羅宣言的效力等同是「國際條約」,強調其為中華民國在二戰後收復台灣的法定基礎。

畢竟,在國際法的範疇中,只有「條約」能夠決定領土歸屬,不是嗎?

馬英九如此說明:「事實上,這個宣言實為合約,因為這種協議是沒有預設格式的···由國際法的角度來看,一個國家元首、總理或外交部長就他職權範圍內所做的具體承諾,是具有法效力的。」

但事實真的事這樣嗎?

美國國家檔案館(US National Archives )並不將開羅宣言視為條約。數年前,台灣人公共事務會收到一封來自華盛頓國家檔案館記錄部門的助理檔案管理員的信件,其中這麼寫道:「國家檔案管和紀錄管理局並沒有將(開羅)宣言列為條約,﹝···﹞該宣言性質為公報,它並沒有歸屬於任何的條約或行政協定編號。」

美國國家檔案管的判斷,顯然和國民黨對於「開羅宣言是國際條約」的認知天差地別,也一舉推翻了北京所宣稱的「一個中國原則」。

很顯然的,開羅宣言僅僅只是一份三個領袖對於國際事務的「意向宣言」—對於戰爭的政策聲明,日本投降後領土的重分配,應該在正式的和平條約中處理。開羅宣言的法律效力與地位不足以作為條約或公約。

雖然開羅宣言在當下的時空背景具有重要地位,但在65年後的今天,它並不具有任何法律約束力,遑論作為中國國民黨或中國共產黨對台灣的領主主張依據。

(August 29, 2017) Cairo Declaration / 開羅宣言
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