Taiwan

Jerome A. Cohen. The Wisdom of The Hague’s South China Sea Decision. Wall Street Journal

The July 12 arbitration award in the Philippines case against China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) isn’t only significant for East Asia and maritime law. It will also have implications for public international law and the peaceful settlement of international disputes generally.

Jerome A. Cohen and Peter A. Dutton. Japan’s important sideshow to arbitration decision in the South China Sea. EAF (East Asian Forum)

While tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea and the disputing governments nervously await a decision in the Philippines’ arbitration case against China, an important sideshow has arisen between Japan and Taiwan in the central Philippine Sea regarding a Taiwanese fishing vessel. 

Jerome A. Cohen. Neither "Green" Nor "Blue". SCMP (South China Morning Post)

In three years of publishing a bi-weekly column in the South China Morning Post and in Taiwan's Chinese language China Times, many topics and issues have been raised. In the course of such writing, criticisms of said writing have also been raised. Yet, I reminan that I am neither "green" nor "blue."

Jerome A. Cohen. Why the elections in Taiwan matter so much – for Beijing, the region and the US. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

The anticipated turnout for Saturday’s presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan will be relatively modest compared with its great importance in so many respects. A major question, of course, is whether – if the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate Tsai Ing-wen wins – her administration can manage a smooth transition to the next stage of Taiwan’s relations with mainland China

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. For Taiwanese, the mainland remains a dangerous place. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Going to the Chinese mainland can be dangerous. First-time visitors are often surprised at their freedom, and seasoned travelers may feel comfortable, but foreigners in China do get detained by police for many reasons. When commercial dealings sour business people of Chinese descent, including those from Taiwan and Hong Kong, are especially at risk.

Yu-Jie Chen. A new experiment for international human rights treaty review: Taiwan’s experience

On March 1, Taiwan concluded a United Nations-type review of its implementation of two principal human rights treaties. A group of international experts issued their “Concluding Observations and Recommendations,”  identifying a slew of issues concerning whether Taiwan’s government has met the requirements of the two major treaties. This was the first time that the government of Taiwan invited independent international experts to systematically evaluate its human rights records in accordance with the treaties.

Daniel Severson. International Scrutiny Helps Taiwan Advance Human Rights. Taiwan Business Topics

Taiwan has come a long way since the years of repression and abuses during the period of White Terror. When Taiwan emerged from martial law just a quarter century ago, the struggle for basic rights, including freedom of assembly, speech, and the press, remained fierce. In 1989, democracy activist Cheng Nan-jung famously set himself on fire to protest restrictions on freedom of expression.

C.V. Chen. “Judiciary of the People” in Taiwan. China Times

Last week President Ma completed the first year of his second term in office. I had high expectations for this president, a “legal professional” who once served as the Minister of Justice. For the past five years, through several articles such as “President Ma’s Judicial Exam,” “Shouldering the Responsibility for Judicial Reform, Expectations for the President with a Legal Background,” etc., I have expressed the hope that during his term there would be substantial progress in judicial reform

Jerome A. Cohen. Lesson in Integrity for All. SCMP (South Chine Morning Post)

The media on the mainland and in Taiwan took little note of last week’s sensational federal court decision in Washington that voided the criminal corruption conviction of former US senator Ted Stevens. Yet the case has profound implications for efforts on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to stamp out corruption while fostering a rule of law based on the adversarial system of criminal justice.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. Taiwan’s Incorporation of the ICCPR and ICESCR into Domestic Law. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing the ratification instruments of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The legislature had, shortly before, incorporated the content of the two covenants into Taiwan’s domestic law. These significant acts deserve greater appreciation than they have received.

Jerome A. Cohen. Calls for Taiwan’s legal scholars to speak out on law reforms. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Anyone who cares about law and government has to be impressed by visiting Taiwan. Its democratically elected president and legislature, spurred by the interpretations of its independent Constitutional Court, have just ended the power of the police to imprison people without affording them the full protections of the newly revised judicial process.

Jerome A. Cohen. Human Rights Issues of Chen Yunlin’s Visit. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Last week’s historic visit to Taiwan by China’s cross-strait chief Chen Yunlin, which culminated in four useful agreements, focused attention on issues of human rights as well as politics. Some issues concerned proper government response to public protests in a free society. Others involved fair investigation of former and present government leaders suspected of corruption.

Jerome A. Cohen. Is Foreign Criticism Helpful? SCMP (South China Morning Post)

When told I had criticized the Taiwan government’s recent decision to bar Rebiya Kadeer from visiting the island, Taiwan’s new Prime Minister, Wu Den-Yih, remarked:”People who do not live in our land may not understand…and need not take any responsibility. We respect their comments but do not necessarily adopt all of them.” This polite “putdown” deserves our reflection.

Jerome A. Cohen. The US – China Consular Convention: Need for Greater Protection for Individuals. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

This is the start of my third year publishing a biweekly column in the South China Morning Post and in Taiwan’s Chinese language China Times. Most of these “op-eds” have concerned contemporary issues of law and justice in China, Taiwan or both as well as political- legal questions arising from the cross-strait reconciliation that began in 2008 with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s inauguration.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. ECFA And Taiwan’s Political System. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Taiwan politics is in turmoil about the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed last week with China. Although ECFA promises to benefit Taiwan’s economy, the island’s politicians have been engaged in heated debate over how the Legislature should consider whether to approve this thirteenth agreement between Taiwan’s “semi-official” Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s “semi-official” Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS).

Jerome A. Cohen and Jon M. Van Dyke. Defusing the bomb in the East China Sea. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Japan’s arrest in September of a Chinese fishing captain within the 12-nautical-mile territorial sea surrounding the Diaoyu-Senkaku Islands – five tiny islets and three barren rocks northeast of Taiwan – has again inflamed relations between the two great East Asian powers.

Jerome A. Cohen. The Suppression Of China’s Human Rights Lawyers: Do Foreign Lawyers Care? SCMP (South China Morning Post)

What role, if any, should ordinary citizens play in determining guilt and punishment in criminal cases? Some Chinese courts, dissatisfied with the mixed tribunals of one judge and two lay assessors that hear many of their cases, have been experimenting with so-called “people’s juries” whom they “consult” before making decisions.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. For Taiwanese, the mainland remains a dangerous place. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Going to the Chinese mainland can be dangerous. First-time visitors are often surprised at their freedom, and seasoned travelers may feel comfortable, but foreigners in China do get detained by police for many reasons. When commercial dealings sour business people of Chinese descent, including those from Taiwan and Hong Kong, are especially at risk.