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Taiwan Perspectives (4): Lessons from the Mexican American War

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Published on Dec 24, 2014

The notion that we can learn many valuable lessons from the study of the conduct of war, and the new dispositions of territory which have resulted from war, is not popular among most Taiwan and China scholars. They much prefer to advance their theories regarding a correct statement of "Taiwan's legal status" in a vacuum, without reference to other international precedent.

Of particular note is that many civilian scholars seem to agree with the proposition that Chiang Kai-shek (CKS), and his followers, can "define" the legal significance of the Oct. 25, 1945, surrender ceremonies in Taiwan any way they want. Based on that, in their view, all future legal relationships for (and between) Taiwan territory, the Taiwanese people, and the world community will then flow from the premises which CKS has established.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The post-Napoleonic world has seen many instances of surrender ceremonies after war, and customary precedent has already firmly defined all related legal parameters. Hence, in Part IV of our series of TAIWAN PERSPECTIVES, we do a thorough overview of the Mexican American War, the causes of the war, and two particularly notable legal developments. These were the U.S. Supreme Court cases which clarified important points of legal confusion and debate which occurred in that era.

The conclusions reached by the U.S. Supreme Court in these cases are also very applicable to a discussion of Taiwan history beginning in 1945. Moreover, the role of the USA in Taiwan affairs can be better understood by referring to these decisions and their ramifications.

Unfortunately, even today, the majority of government officials, university academics, and UN staff members still completely overlook the similarities between the situations of the Mexican American War occupations, and the situation of Taiwan after the close of hostilities in WWII. This video is a long needed introduction to this important area of legal studies.

In summary, this 4-part series of TAIWAN PERSPECTIVES videos is one which every person interested in the USA - PRC - Taiwan triangular relationship should watch (and re-watch), as well as recommend to their friends, associates, teachers, professors, debating club members, and representatives in Congress.

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