Seminar Explores San Francisco Peace Treaty 60 Years Later

Signed sixty years ago in the city of San Francisco between Japan and the Allied Powers, the San Francisco Peace Treaty brought an official end to World War II while, at the same time, throwing the sovereignty of Taiwan into question.

60 Years after the San Francisco Peace Treaty and its Implications for Taiwan Today

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Eshleman Library
Address: 7th floor, Eshleman Hall, Berkeley, CA
Facebook event page:

In September 1951, the San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed, formally ending the hostilities in East Asia between Japan and the Allied Forces led by the United States. As part of the Treaty, Japan ceded sovereignty over Taiwan, but it was not decided “to whom.” Many participating nations stated that this needed to be determined in due time, on the basis of the wishes of the people on the island. Or as the British delegate said, “in accord with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”, i.e. the principle of self-determination.

At this seminar, the following speakers will analyze international legal and political aspects of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, and discuss how it plays a role in the debate about Taiwan’s international status and sovereignty today.

* Dr. Gerrit van der Wees, Formosan Association for Public Affairs
SFPT, background and circumstances
* Mr. Akira Chiba, Embassy of Japan in Washington
SFPT, A Japanese perspective
* Mr. John J. Tkacik Jr., US Foreign Service (retired)
SFPT, The US position on Taiwan’s status after 1952
* Mr. Gordon G. Chang, author, “The Coming Collapse of China.”
SFPT, Implications for Taiwan today

Sponsors: Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Students for Sovereign Taiwan at UC Berkeley, North America Taiwanese Professors Association

Contacts: Ms. Yamei Lee,, 650-315-4470, or
Mr. Tim Suen,, 216-570-056


Gordon Chang. A frequent commentator on Asian affairs, Mr. Chang lived and worked in China and Hong Kong for almost two decades, most recently in Shanghai. He has written articles in publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and writes regularly for and The Daily. Chang has appeared on CNN, Fox News Channel, CNBC, MSNBC, the BBC, and Bloomberg Television. He is a leading thinker about US relations with China and is most well-known for his book The Coming Collapse of China.

Akira Chiba. Mr. Chiba presently serves as Minister for Congressional Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington. He has been in the diplomatic service of Japan since 1984, and has served in Tokyo, Geneva and Beijing. He received his BA in law from the University of Tokyo and his MA in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.

John J. Tkacik Jr. John Tkacik is a retired U.S. foreign service officer, with over 35 years’ experience in China, Taiwan and Mongolian affairs. He spent 24 years in the Department of State and in diplomatic and consular offices in Taiwan and China and was Chief of China Analysis in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research before retiring in 1994. He joined The Heritage Foundation in 2001 where he was senior research fellow in Asian studies. He has degrees from Harvard and Georgetown universities.

Gerrit van der Wees. Chief editor of the publication Taiwan Communiqué. A close observer of Taiwan’s transition to democracy and political developments in Taiwan, he presently serves as Senior Policy Advisor at the Formosan Association for Public Affairs in Washington DC, responsible for contacts with the US Senate. He is a graduate from the University of Delft, and has a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle.

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