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Is Taiwan a Country, a Self-Governing Island, or a Breakaway Territory or Province of China?

'The Island Formosa and the Pescadores', depicted by Johannes Vingboons in around 1640. Copied from Chinese Wikipedia.

‘The Island Formosa and the Pescadores’, depicted by Johannes Vingboons in around 1640. Formosa is the name given to Taiwan by Portuguese explorers who sighted the island in the 16th century. PHOTO from Chinese Wikipedia.

A German friend once asked me about the sovereign status of Taiwan, and I told him that Taiwan is a country because we elect our own president and legislators, and we have our own currency and passport.

My friend bought what I said, but his wife didn’t. She is a political scientist, and based on what she heard about Taiwan, she thought the relationship between China and Taiwan bore more similarities to the relationship between the East and West Germany. In other words, as Chinese and Taiwanese can communicate in Mandarin and as the two countries’ cultures are so similar, it would have made sense for China and Taiwan to have pursued reunification after the Cold War ended.

I argued that a better comparison was the relationship between the UK and US. The British and the Americans share a similar language, and a certain percentage of Americans were actually British before their war of independence. Americans, nevertheless, claimed their independence because they—or at least their founding fathers—subscribed to a different political ideology. Taiwan, likewise, embraces a democratic political system, while China’s political framework is that of a socialist republic run by the Communist Party of China (CPC). China is a great country. Like many countries in the world, Taiwan also wants to make friends with China. However, many of the 23.4 million Taiwanese prefer not to unite with China because we embrace different political systems. What has happened between Hong Kong and China proves that it does not work.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TAIWAN

A selection of recommended books, films, and musical works about Taiwan:

Tyzen Hsiao’s symphony ‘Taiwan the Green’: Many Taiwanese refer to this as the unofficial National Anthem of Taiwan.

Formose: French-language illustrated storybook by Li-Chin Lin depicting the author’s childhood and adolescence during the White Terror period in Taiwan.

Formosa Betrayed: George H. Kerr's account of Taiwan's abandonment by the international community after World War II.

A City of Sadness’: Film by Hsiao-Hsien Hou that tells a story related to the incident that triggered the Republic of China’s military repression in Taiwan, after Japanese surrendered.

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale’: Film by Te-Sheng Wei about the revolt by Taiwanese Aborigines under Japanese colonialism.

China, or People’s Republic of China (PRC), always claims that Taiwan has been part of China from the very beginning, but it is not true if we check history records. Taiwan became part of China during the period of the Qing Dynasty in 1683, and the Qing government did not seriously govern Taiwan except collecting heavy tax from Taiwanese and using military forces to repress ‘insurgents’. It was not until 204 years later, in 1887, that Taiwan was made a province.

In fact, if Taiwan was not attacked by the French during the Sino-French War (1883-1885), the Qing government might never have given Taiwan provincial status. But the Sino-French War revealed the Qing government’s fragility, as well as Taiwan’s strategic position as a bulwark in the West Pacific again to other Asian countries with strong military forces. Eight years later, in 1895, after the first Sino-Japanese War, the Qing government was forced to cede Taiwan to Japan.

At the end of World War II (WWII), the Republic of China (ROC) took control of Taiwan after Japan surrendered. Taiwan was a colony of Japan during the Kominka movement or Japanization of subjects of the Empire of Japan. Since Japan was an enemy of China during WWII, the ROC government had difficulty considering Taiwanese their fellow countrymen. Taiwanese did not even speak Mandarin at that time.

During the Chinese civil war (1946-1950), the Kuomintang (KMT), led by Chiang Kai-Shek, decided to consolidate the power of his exiled government in Taiwan after it was defeated by the CPC’s People’s Liberation Army in China in 1949. During the period of White Terror (1949-1987) and after, the Taiwan democracy movement took decades to build a free and democratic society. They finally succeeded, and in their quest for a new society, forged a new Taiwanese national identity that is quite different from China’s.

A historical photo of the Tsou people in Taiwan playing their music instruments. This photo is originally posted at taipics.com.

Historical image of the Tsou people in Taiwan playing music instruments. Photo: taipics.com.

Before 1683, Taiwan was inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines, who are very proud of their role in the history of Polynesia. Studies of genetics, pottery styles, languages, and the existence of plants such as the Pacific paper mulberry suggest that the Lapita, the ancestors of those who would go on populate Polynesia and Micronesia, very likely lived in Taiwan before they traveled to other islands. For Taiwanese, the question of finding aboriginal bloodlines in our genealogy is central to discussions about Taiwan’s independence, because there is evidence that very few of the Han Chinese  who moved to Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty period were female.

Underlying the debate about bloodlines is an idea about historical viewpoints and their role in forming national identity. Taiwan’s history is generally viewed from two different perspectives: one that is China-centered, the other Taiwan-centered. According to the China-centered version, China was kind enough to bring Taiwan back into the family after WWII. In the Taiwan-centered version, both the Chinese and the Japanese empires were colonizers.

Taiwanese and their supporters' outreach events at Harvard Square in Boston. They explained Taiwan's situation to the interested pedestrians. Photo by Chia-Chun Chung. Republished by Global Voices with permission.

An outreach event by Taiwanese and supporters at Harvard Square in Boston that explained Taiwan's situation to interested passers-by. Photo by Chia-Chun Chung. Republished by Global Voices with permission.

Let us return, however, to the question of whether Taiwan is a country, a self-governing island, a breakaway territory of China, or a province of China. It is a difficult question for diplomats and journalists, and it is not an easy one even for Taiwanese.

Firstly, it is true that Taiwan was—for that brief eight-year period before WWII—a province of China. But Taiwan is not currently a province of China, as China has no control over Taiwan. This is the political reality. To clarify the situation further we can refer to the history of Mongolia. Mongolia was once part of China under the Qing Dynasty, pursuing its independence in 1911 and became an independent country later on (a long story). No one would say that Mongolia is part of China just because it was part of China more than 100 years ago.

Yet some still insist on calling Taiwan a province of China because China claims so. Many agencies still use the formulation ‘Taiwan, Province of China’, either out of ignorance or because they enjoy close relations with China. To counter the China-centered viewpoint, some Taiwanese spend lots of time writing to these agencies in order to persuade them simply ­to use the term ‘Taiwan’, without further political attribution.

The terms ‘self-governing island’ and ‘breakaway territory’ are more widely used in international media reports that refer to Taiwan’s sovereignty status. ‘Self-governing island’ at least has the virtue of being relatively neutral, but it's also inaccurate, as the territory of Taiwan comprises several islands. ‘Breakaway territory’ (or ’renegade province’) is a formulation of the English-speaking world. According to the China-centered historical view it's not incorrect, but it sidelines the Taiwanese-centered view of history. In Taiwan, it's likely to offend the pro-independence community.

Taiwan’s sovereign status is tricky in many ways. Even though we Taiwanese possess almost every attribute of a ‘nation’, we have very few diplomatic allies. Taiwan is recognized by only 22 nations as a sovereign state, and diplomatic allies of the PRC are strongly requested not to recognize Taiwan a sovereign state even in non-diplomatic international events like film festivals. As a result, Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, nor even of the World Health Organization (WHO), and it's the rare international mainstream media article that refers to Taiwan as a ‘country‘.

Thanks to Sophie Hsu, Brian Hioe, and Oiwan Lam for the valuable discussions and comments about this article.

  • Pingback: Is Taiwan a Country, a Self-Governing Island, or a Breakaway … | Ceyhun Kirimli()

  • michaelturton

    It’s only trivially wrong to say Taiwan is a self-governing island. The other islands are tiny and no one could object to them being included in the phrase “self-governing island”. It is not an archipelago like Indonesia or Phillippines.

    It is surprising that this article makes no reference to the island’s status under international law as defined by the San Francisco Peace Treaty (a territory whose status awaits final determination) and the UN agreements on decolonized territories.

    The article also erroneously treats aboriginal history as having 1683 as a cut off point. The aborigines controlled the majority of the island until well into the 19th century, a fact known to contemporary western thinkers, as perusal of early 19th century atlases will quickly show. Prior to 1683 there were Dutch and Spanish colonies on Taiwan, and later the west side was a holding of the abortive pirate state of the Cheng family. Chinese immigration was encouraged by the Dutch. The 1683 date simply represents the point at which the Manchu Empire first began governance of part of Taiwan.

    Also, can we get “Taiwanese revolting movement” corrected to “Taiwan democracy movement”. “revolting” is a regrettable English error.

    Otherwise, excellent and useful piece. Good work.

    • I-Fan Lin

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I changed ‘Taiwanese revolting movement’ to ‘Taiwan democracy movement’. The later does sound better.

      I agree with you that the problem with ‘self-governing island’ is very trivial, but I always like to make fun of it (because there are always a lot of tension in this kind of discussions).

      As for the international laws, the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the UN agreements, and the other colonization history before the Qing’s occupation, I did not mention them here because I am afraid that the readers would be bored. (If our readers are interested in this story, I would be happy to write another article for it.) To be honest, I think Taiwan can become an independent country any time (or it has already been) if Taiwanese agree to this proposal, and there is no previous treaties or agreements among other countries can legally forbid us to do so because the right of nations to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law. On the other hand, the only problem on Taiwan’s way to be a member of UN is China, and I think China already made their mind on what Taiwan should be and should not be and they will not change their mind no matter what we say.

      Best,
      I-Fan

      • michaelturton

        Thanks for the reply. I hope Taiwan can become an independent nation, and I live long enough to see it!!

        • fi fer

          Michael
          You mean the Republic of China don’t you? As far as I know it is an independent nation since 1911 according to all government officials and all text books and all the teachers there

          • michaelturton

            No, the ROC administrates Taiwan but does not own it. This peculiar situation is the result of the postwar treaty situation. Japan retained sovereignty until giving it up in 1952, at which point the island’s status became unresolved. Thus the One China policies of US, Japan, UK, and several other Powers does not include Taiwan.

          • Great Khan

            The following is straight from “Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China” as detailed on Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s website:

            http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/china/joint72.html

            3. The Government of the People’s Republic of China reiterates that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The Government of Japan fully understands and respects this stand of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and it firmly maintains its stand under Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation. What’s on the Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation again?

          • michaelturton

            “understands and respects”. Nowhere does it “recognize”. The language is deliberate, and reflects the Japanese position that Taiwan’s status remains undecided.

          • Great Khan

            I am no expert on Japanese self effacing language style, but it seems that you are. Please elaborate to us what it means by “maintains its stand under article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation? ”

            Article (8): The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.”

          • Great Khan

            More importantly, who is “we” in the article 8? Is it the US only, maybe UK, and maybe USSR? or maybe it even included the stateless French government in exile. But do you think China also had a role as in the “We”? Or its only to the Whites?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            It is inconsequential. Only ratified treaties are able to transfer territory from one State to another State. China being a signatory or not is completely irrelevant to that matter.

          • Great Khan

            Great, a history knowledge challenged arbitrager is lecturing the rightful inheritor what’s needed to get his heirloom back from a robber. Either your ignorance or worse, malice, is contributing to your fact twisting logic. Your days of White Man’s burden is over!

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Once you sign away the territory in a treaty, you have no residual rights to it unless there is a clause indicating such in the treaty, such as in the Treaty of Lima. Look at the territory Denmark ceded to Austria. Two years later, Austria ceded it to Prussia. Denmark had no further rights to the territory.

          • Great Khan

            totally true. Japan signed away all of its colonial possessions, Why is Ryukyu Kingdom an exception?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Because it was not included in Article 2 of the treaty.

          • michaelturton

            You should have just stopped at “I am no expert” because you obviously have never studied this issue.

            Potsdam is a declaration of intentions. It has no force of law. and was basically ignored.

            Only signed treaties define the law and circumstances. That is why the postwar order is defined by the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the UN Agreements.

            Potsdam and Cairo are meaningless under international law — even in their day, populations could not be transferred to a different sovereignty without a referendum, which never occurred on Taiwan.

            As noted in other posts here, you really need to brush up on your understanding of this. Start with Accinelli’s Crisis and Commitment.

          • Great Khan

            Why are we consistently going back to San Francisco Peace Treaty as if it’s the only legal treaty? Is it because it;s sired by Americans? Or just because it’s agreed on by White men?

          • michaelturton

            Because the SFPT and the UN agreements are the only legal documents covering the status of Taiwan. Everything else is a mere declaration of intent. International status is not embodied in declarations, but in treaties. That is the way the international system works.

            And that is why, to this day, under international law, the status of Taiwan is undecided.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            forty-eight allied states are parties to San Francisco.

          • Great Khan

            Somehow, not any of the two Chinese governments. It’s to do with the Chinese territory and the the Chinese heirloom returning to the rightful inheritor. Why a bunch of arbitragers taking a interest?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            It was no longer Chinese territory. It was Japanese territory. China had no standing.

          • Great Khan

            I thought Japan was reduced to 4 main islands after WWII, or do we need to cook up another hypocrisy to station the white men troops?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            No, That is also a misreading of Cairo and Potsdam as well as not being present in the Peace Treaty of San Francisco.

          • fi fer

            Right according to your twisted logic the USA does not own the 50 states but just administer it. American Indians are the actual owners.

            What are you smoking? Unless this is an actual resolution from a legitimate governing body it does not mean a thing from you,,

          • michaelturton

            You might want to sit down and study the emergence of the postwar treaty system. Start with Accinelli’s excellent _Crisis and Commitment_

          • Michael Le Houllier

            There are international treaties that confirm the status of the territory that is part of the United States today. There is no such treaty to confirm China’s sovereignty over Taiwan.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            1. The ROC was founded in 1912, not 1911.
            2, There was never a sovereign transfer of Taiwan to the Republic of China. The unilateral annexation in 1946 violated international law, the United Nations Charter and even the ROC Constitution.

          • Great Khan

            Neither PRC or ROC were signatories to the San Francisco Treaty due to their bickering as the true representative of China. Rather, ROC did sign the Treaty of Taipei. On its Article 10: “For the purposes of the present Treaty, nationals of the Republic of China, shall be deemed to include all the inhabitants and former inhabitants of Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) and their descendents who are of the Chinese nationality.” Unless these “taiwanese” claim that they were not of chinese decent, then there’s no questions that they were repatriated under that article. Of course, if they had argued that they were not of chinese decent, then they should be treated as foreigners.

          • I-Fan Lin

            Hi Great Khan,
            As I said before, no one except Taiwanese have the legal right to decide whether we want to be an independent country or what country we want to be belong to. Any treaty signed by other countries cannot decide the fate of Taiwanese.
            On the other hand, based on your logic, I guess ROC should claim to include all the inhabitants in PRC because all of their inhabitants are Chinese descendants, and the whole territory of PRC was once belong to ROC. I feel so sorry for you, because ROC cannot claim that, can it? I can imagine that a loyalist of ROC like you must feel very embarrassed by this political reality.
            To respond to your arguments below about Ryukyu and Hawaii, I think Japanese and Americans are open to their independence if the people in Ryukyu or Hawaii want to build their own independent country–just like what happens in Quebec, Scotland, and Catalonia. If the ROC royalists still want to discuss about this issue, please let the international society recognize ROC as the representation of China first. Both Japan and the US are very powerful countries, and I do not think ROC has their status to attract Taiwanese to become a member of it.
            I-Fan

          • Great Khan

            No, ROC can’t because PRC succeeded ROC as the legal government of China. I understand your sediment, but I am only relaying the legality of treaties and international governing laws. I am all for self determination, and on the same token if northern Taiwan, with their staunch KMT supporters, want to secede from the rest of Taiwan, then let them do that also.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            You don’t understand treaties and international law, based on some of the posts you have made here.

          • Great Khan

            Please enlighten us with your expertise

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Read some of the posts I have already made responding to your drivel.

          • michaelturton

            The PRC succeeded the ROC indeed, but neither is legal government over Taiwan. That is how the postwar treaty system is arranged.

          • Great Khan

            Just a quick brush up on your history. Both Hawaii and Ryukyu kingdom were independent nations since the treaty of Westphalia that defined modern concept of “nations” that so heralded by the colonist, not just some populace aspiring to be different. Quebec was never a country. Catalonia was a principality by the Crown of Arago that was decided by big power European succession wars. And finally, Scotland….it was them who conquered England, akin to the Manchus in China.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            And to brush up on your international law, it was completely legal to conquer and annex a State and make it a part of your own prior to the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928. In fact, there are numerous examples of such annexations.

          • Great Khan

            How convenient for the imperialists to keep their territorial bounties in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas under the guise of a “Renunciation of War” pact.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            And don’t forget China…

          • Great Khan

            China is in Asia, thank you.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            yet China is the biggest threat to nearly everyone else in Asia.

          • Great Khan

            So said the true voice of a decedent of Vandals. As you carry your ancestor’s moniker in spreading “lism” across the globe, whether as a missionary, English “teacher’ or “democracy” activist, it doesn’t change the fact that you continue the 1000 years of dark ages that your ancestor had rained down on Europe and true Vandalism to the world cultures in the last 600 years.

          • YiJiun

            By the extension of your logic, may I argue that nobody but the Mainland Chinese themselves have the right to decide whether their territory want to be independent or part of another country? Certainly, Mainland Chinese are not going to give up part of their nation.

            By voting for independence, aren’t 2.3 million deciding for the 1.4 billion? If Taiwan becomes independent from the Mainland, it goes by default
            that the Mainland becomes independent from Taiwan as well, isn’t it? ;)
            Now, let’s examine the status of Crimea then…May I know what is the official US position on this?

            I own a piece of land in Taiwan, is this piece of territory that I own allowed independence?

            Know the difference between Freedom including the right to Self-Determination and Democracy which supposedly is based on the concept of “Rule by Majority”?

            If every individual is truly Free, why then shall I be subjected to rule under a Democratic system? So, these 2 concepts are inherently in contradiction, in fact!

            Besides, even the American Democratic system is manipulated and not truly representative of the people’s will, do you know that?

            As for the status of Ryukyu, if even the Okinawa people’s simple decision to reject the deployment of US military on their soil is not duly respected for years and years, do you seriously think it will ever be granted independence, given its geostrategic value?

            Have you ever contemplate Japan evicting American troop deployment on Japanese soil one day and what will happen if the US disagrees? You are not being sincere in your argument. :)

          • Michael Le Houllier

            The fact that neither government of China is a signatory to San Francisco is immaterial. Neither had standing as Taiwan was sovereignty Japanese territory at the time. The only exception to this is if there is a clause providing for such rights in the original treaty of cession, as in the 1929 Treaty of Ancon (Lima) between Peru and Chile.

          • michaelturton

            Nice try. The treaty of taipei does not make taiwan part of the roc, but realizes, for the purposes of administration, that the inhabitants of taiwan are ROC citizens. The treaty of taipei was signed on Apr 28, 1952, the day the SF peace treaty came into effect. The postwar treaty system is quite clear: the status of taiwan is undetermined.

          • fi fer

            1) January 1st 1912 was the first day of the new country but it was declared a month before by the new government which already set up office
            2) You mean the transfer of government on the island of Taiwan from the Empire of Japan to the Republic of China at the end of WW2? the island itself was never an independent nation recognized by any country with any legitimate government by that name ever.

            I’m just stating the obvious fact that the official name of the country is and always have been The Republic of China and I would know since I have a citizen of the Republic of China for 48 yeras

          • Michael Le Houllier

            The island was a part of Japan. There needs to be a treaty of cession to transfer it to China. There was none. Japan merely renounced its sovereignty over the island, it DID NOT transfer it to China.

            I am actually not claiming that Taiwan is a sovereign State. The legal status is undetermined pending a decision by Taiwan’s people.

          • Great Khan

            Signed at the conclusion of the First Sino-Japanese War in April 1895, the Treaty of Shimonoseki provided in part that China “cedes to Japan in perpetuity and full sovereignty . . . [t]he island of Formosa, together with all islands appertaining or belonging to the said island of Formosa.” The parties disagree on whether this language encompassed the Senkaku / Diaoyu. Under the Japanese view, the language did not, the Treaty is inapplicable, and sovereignty hinges on other issues. Under the Chinese view, the Treaty transferred sovereignty over the Islands to Japan, and China reacquired sovereignty through the Treaty’s subsequent invalidation. To support the latter part of this argument, Taiwan relies upon the ROC-Japan Peace Treaty of 1952 (Treaty of Taipei), in which the parties “recognize[d] that all treaties, conventions, and agreements concluded before 9 December 1941 between Japan and China have become null and void as a consequence of [World War II].” According to the ROC, this provision invalidated the Treaty of Shimonoseki and in doing so reversed the original cession to Japan.

            http://law.marquette.edu/facultyblog/2014/01/22/the-drafting-history-of-the-treaty-of-shimonoseki/

          • Michael Le Houllier

            The invalidation of treaties, even if applicable here, has no impact on the territory that was transferred already as a consequence of the nullification of that treaty. This is a basic principle seen in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Treaty of Kars and the confirmation of customary international law in the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties. Furthermore, unilateral abrogation of treaties is not legal when it comes to territorial treaties or provisions thereof. Also confirmed in the Vienna Convention.

          • michaelturton

            No treaties transfer taiwan to the ROC.

          • qiuwei

            Treaty of Taipei. beside no treaty of soverighty is required since ROC asserted it power by naturalization of the population into citizen of ROC, Japan cannot transfer sovereignty after it had already renounced sovereignty. they could only abandon their “administration” and handover the administration to ROC.

            Taiwan was not a colony in the law of China, therefore it was not governed by rules of decolonization. other example of this are French own island which too were not “decolonized” because they are consider “part of France” and not “colony of France”.

          • michaelturton

            The Treaty of Taipei specifically DOES NOT transfer Taiwan to the ROC. It was deliberately written that way. It simply states, for the purposes of administration, that the inhabitants of taiwan are treated as ROC citizens. It was signed on April 28th because that was the day the SF Peace Treaty took effect, indicating that the ToT is subordinate to it.

            The ROC knows this, as its foreign minister told the legislature….

            After signing the treaty [of Taipei], the ROC delegate, then ROC foreign minister George Yeh (葉公超), faced harsh questioning from legislators in a Legislative Yuan meeting regarding why the treaty between the ROC and Japan did not state unambiguously that Taiwan and Penghu were returned to the ROC.

            Yeh replied that “No provision has been made either in the San Francisco Treaty or the Sino-Japanese Treaty as to the future of Taiwan and Penghu.” Yeh further explained: “In fact, we control them now, and undoubtedly they constitute a part of our territories. The delicate international situation, however, means that they do not belong to us. In these circumstances, Japan has no right to transfer Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores (Penghu) to us. Nor could we accept such a transfer from Japan even if she wished to do so.”

          • qiuwei

            as i said, it doesn’t need to as Japan does not have soverighty to transfer, thus Taiwan automatically revert to whoever had soverighty before Japan, which is China.

          • michaelturton

            Nice try, but Japan had internationally recognized sovereignty over Taiwan from 1895 until 1952. Recognized also by the Qing and ROC governments. And in all the treaties and international legal documents during that period.

            Good luck!

          • qiuwei

            as you said, until 1952. ;)
            you can’t give what you no longer have. all right of taiwan was reverted back to their original pre-war owners. beside, you can’t argue away the fact that taiwan people today carry chinese passport. they choose to be the republic of china.

          • michaelturton

            Still trying? In 1952 Japan formally gave up sovereignty over Taiwan. The recipient of Taiwan’s sovereignty is not named. Hence, its status remained undetermined. That’s why the ROC foreign minister said, after the treaty of Taipei was signed:

            Yeh replied that “No provision has been made either in the San Francisco Treaty or the Sino-Japanese Treaty as to the future of Taiwan and Penghu.” Yeh further explained: “In fact, we control them now, and undoubtedly they constitute a part of our territories. The delicate international situation, however, means that they do not belong to us. In these circumstances, Japan has no right to transfer Formosa (Taiwan) and the Pescadores (Penghu) to us. Nor could we accept such a transfer from Japan even if she wished to do so.”

            Read that again: NO PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE in either treaty for the future of Taiwan.

            Again: NO PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE… AS TO THE FUTURE OF TAIWAN.

            That’s how the system was designed.

            Right down to today, Taiwan’s status is undetermined.

            But keep playing.

          • qiuwei

            no provision need to be made, taiwan is currently rule by chinese, nothing will change that short of a war. that is how the world work.

          • qiuwei

            how can you be citizen of a country you are not part of?

            the reality is indeed that the ROC government is only a defacto government, however without even a defacto government, nothing can stop PRC from annexing it completely, not even US dare risk a nuclear war.

      • Great Khan

        In case you are still enamored with joining the white club, let’s see how your white master defines a “Chinaman”.

        See the addendum to the original Chinese Exclusion Act in 1884, and further extended after the US’s conquest of the Philippines that had (still has) sizable Chinese population.

        SEC. 15. That the provisions of this act shall apply to all subjects of China and Chinese, whether subjects of China or any other foreign power; http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_exclusion_doc_3.html

        Get it now? By renouncing your ancestry and your kinsmen will not make you any whiter.

    • Great Khan

      “Pirate state” of Cheng Family in 1661? I guess the 1681 King Charles II handed over a large piece of native land, modern day Delaware and Pennsylvania, to William Penn to settle a private debt is not.

      • Great Khan

        I get it: the White Men’s Burden crap continues. If it’s any other ethnic, then they are pirates or aliens, but if it’s white men, then they are “settlers” and “pioneers”. This mentality persist then and now, as if you have seen any White illegal aliens mentioned anywhere in the media? No, it’s always Jewish (how much percentage jew is debatable of those whites) “settlers”, Zimbabwean settlers, etc.

  • carlisimo

    I think it’s important to point out just how powerful the China-centered perspective has been in Taiwan. The Chinese who moved to Taiwan after the civil war accounted for 15% of the island’s population but held nearly absolute power in government through the late ’80s or early ’90s, and controlled education and the media for almost as long.

    As a result, the claim that Taiwan is a province of China is fairly strong in Taiwan, too. Supposedly it was Chiang Ching-Kuo who insisted on the Chinese Taipei title for use in the Olympics, for example. Outgoing president Ma Ying-jeou is usually too careful with his choice of words to put it that way, but appears to think along the same lines. The rest of the world still hears the president as Taiwan’s voice, so it’s not their fault, and not necessarily even the PRC’s, if they hear a contradictory message.

    • I-Fan Lin

      Hi carlisimo,
      Thanks very much for your comments. You are very right. There are a certain percentage of Taiwanese or their parents or their grandparents moving to Taiwan in around 1949, and it is absolutely understandable if they consider themselves as Chinese. For Taiwanese living in Taiwan before the end of WWII, many of them (except Taiwanese aboriginals) identified themselves as Chinese during Japan’s colonization because that was what the Japan government thought. As you mentioned, the education under the control of KMT for a long time also taught our people that we are Chinese. It is also true that Taiwan’s official name is still Republic of China (ROC) and some of our presidents (Chiang and Ma) consider(ed) that we represent ‘another China’, and that is why many journalists are used to call Taiwan a breakaway territory. These are the leftovers of the Chinese civil war.
      As a result, I said in the article that this is also a difficult question for Taiwanese. What we call ‘Taiwanese national identity’ today has taken decades to evolve, to mature. Here I stated that there are three reasons explaining why we have this national identity today, especially among our young people: (1) different political systems between Taiwan and China (we did not have the democratic system in the White Terror period), (2) the common history we shared in the democracy movement, and (3) the build-up of the Taiwan-centered history.–Maybe I should list the obvious contradictory in the name ‘Republic of China’ as one of the reasons. Every time CPC calls Taiwan a province of China, Taiwanese step away from China. Every time KMT says that the Taiwan government represents another China (ROC), Taiwanese step away from KMT.
      Let us wait and see how things keep evolving. We usually throw away leftovers when it becomes swill.
      Cheers,
      I-Fan

      • fi fer

        Now you secessionists must be happy that Tsai yin wen is elected president of Republic of China. I wonder when she and her colleagues would try to denounce the name of the country and invent a new name for the country with the word Taiwan in it even though she swore an oath to protect the nation called Republic of China. Also need to change the National Flag and National anthem which contained the word Republic of China. Also need to change over 80 percent of the street names that all relates to China ””’,,,,,OH What Headache HAHA

        • michaelturton

          Yes, removing markers of colonial regimes is always a pain.

        • Michael Le Houllier

          No secessionists here. You can’t secede from something you are not a part of.

          • Great Khan

            i guess the ROChina flag and constitution in Taiwan is to fool the English speakers. How about caroling for your colonial themes to the people of Ryukyu kingdom first?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            There is no legal basis for the unilateral annexation of Taiwan by the ROC in 1946. It was against customary international law as there was no treaty of cession. It was against the UN Charter as it called for territories detached from the enemy states to have self-determination. And it was also against the ROC Constitution because Article 141 stated that its foreign policy was to be guided by the UN Charter.

          • Great Khan

            I guess the Cairo Declaration of 1943 had nothing to say about the “unilateral” annexation of Taiwan.

            Furthermore, that Formosa mentioned in the declaration meant the flower, not the island.

            “…..all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.”

          • Michael Le Houllier

            1. The Cairo Declaration was not a treaty. It was merely a wartime statement and not sufficient to transfer territory from one State to another.
            2. The Atlantic Charter, the 1942 Declaration of the United Nations and the UN Charter itself state that all territories detached from enemy states were to have self-determination. That trumps a non-treaty with only three powers involved.

          • Great Khan

            Self Determination is a vague term at best, but at least in the US, under Texas v. White, its supreme court has held secession could occur “through revolution, or through consent of the States. In the Taiwan scenario, there’s zero reference for secession under the constitutions of PRC or ROC, and thus the only option is revolution really.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            If you read Articles 75-77 of the UN Charter, it is pretty clear.

          • Great Khan

            if I were to mince those UN words, all of Americas need to be evacuated for non-natives. Natives certainly don’t mean Whites, in case you are wondering. the fact is fourth world populace is laced in every society, who’s to champion their causes?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            You obviously didn’t read the UN Charter or have ANY understanding of international law.

          • Great Khan

            I may know nothing of western cannoned international law, but I certainly can distinguish that white men call their viewpoints, practices, and religion “FAITH” and all the others …. well, “MYTH”.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            China is a Charter member of the UN.

          • fi fer

            Who cares about about some declaration from some stupid corrupt politician.

            What do you know about Taiwan ? Why do you even care? Are you born there? Are you a citizen of ROC? Do you actually live there or plan to live over there soon? if not then why do you really care?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            I have lived in Taiwan for nearly fourteen years and have permanent residence. My wife is Taiwanese and my daughters are both Taiwanese citizens. Get it? Or are you racist?

          • fi fer

            That is what many call themselves

          • Michael Le Houllier

            I only hear that word brandied about by those who oppose the legitimate rights of Taiwan’s people.

    • I-Fan Lin

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks very much for your comments. I changed ‘Taiwanese revolting movement’ to ‘Taiwan democracy movement’. The later does sound better.

      I agree with you that the problem with ‘self-governing island’ is very trivial, but I always like to make fun of it (because there are always a lot of tension in this kind of discussions).

      As for the international laws, the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the UN agreements, and the other colonization history before the Qing’s occupation, I did not mention them here because I am afraid that the readers would be bored. (If our readers are interested in this story, I would be happy to write another article for it.) To be honest, I think Taiwan can become an independent country any time (or it has already been) if Taiwanese agree to this proposal, and there is no previous treaties or agreements among other countries can legally forbid us to do so because the right of nations to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law. On the other hand, the only problem on Taiwan’s way to be a member of UN is China, and I think China already made their mind on what Taiwan should be and should not be and they will not change their mind no matter what we say.

      Best,

      I-Fan

    • fi fer

      Carlisimo
      Your comments are simply uninformed to say the least
      Over 90 percent of the population currently living in ROC are descendants of Chinese origin. The small minority of aboriginal people being the exception–you can tell simply by looking at them–much darker skin like Philippinos.

      As for the Olympic name It was not insisted by us but a necessary compromise .between the two warring sides. Either we use the name or not be included in the Olympics– a high profile world event. No major country recognizes us.

      • carlisimo

        Yes, we are of Chinese origin, but our national identity has diverged from our racial identity. I identify as Hua ren, but not Zhongguo ren. Some Taiwanese, including some of my family members, do identify as zhongguo ren and that’s fine – I can understand that perspective despite not sharing it. They’re decreasing in number, though.

        I suspect Tsai Ing-wen would like to make the changes you talk about in your response to I-Fan, but won’t because we live across the strait from a violent neighbor. The first priority is to maintain our democracy, regardless of its name and symbols.

        • fi fer

          I do agree to some degree regarding maintaining the status quo as many of my family members have served in the armed forces

          in fact many are career professional soldiers. Some have actually faught face to face against the communist soldiers over the years to keep them at bay

      • michaelturton

        90% of the population is of austronesian descent one way or another. Before the Han moved into south China it was all austronesian people, so basically the entire population has austronesian gene markers. So you could just as well argue that Taiwan will be the first austronesian state of the modern era…. kinda cool

        • Great Khan

          What type of people populated the Americas before the arrival of Europeans 600 years ago? When did the Europeans killed and subjugated Hawaiians? Are they also of Austronesian decent?

        • fi fer

          I don’t think you truly understands what being Chinese means. The Chinese people is a mixed blood race consists of hundreds if not thousands of different racial determinations. Some Caucasian-looking Eurasian Chinese person whom I’ve personally met told me that his ancestors migrated to China hundreds of years ago.

          I mean if racial purity is the only criteria that defines a country, then many if not most citizens here in USA would have their citizenship taken away.

          Being Chinese means utilizing the Chinese language by speaking Chinese , reading Chinese, and writing Chinese. yes I know you would say that the government forces people to do this and most people speak Taiwanese. I would inform you that Taiwanese is actually South Fukianese dialect of China in fact more people speak the same language in China than Taiwan. Many Singapore people too. Dont tell me they are also descendants of Taiwan.

          Being Chinese means following the same Chinese cultural practices such as observing the same holidays Taiwan people celebrate the same New Years day, Autumn festival, April 5th ancestral ceremonies.

          Being Chinese means accepting the same religious and cultural values such as Confucian determinations such as filial piety, Taoism beliefs, as well as some Buddhist expressions exclusive to Chinese.

          You are Chinese if the above criterion applies to you.

          • Great Khan

            I think you are shoehorning the concept of being Chinese to a western construct for a national. Chinese (Han/Tang/Hua/ however termed) is a term not geographic confined or restricted, as in being a “Catholic”. Case in point: the first Chinese republic, Lanfan Republic, was established in Borneo, modern Indonesia in 1777, although it had nothing to do with the central government in Beijing then or now.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanfang_Republic

          • fi fer

            So what is your point?

            I’m just saying from my point of view over 98 percent of citizens of ROC are Chinese because they use the Chinese language and observe Chinese customs and their citizenship card reads Republic of China. I don’t know what more proof do you need? Above and beyond reasonable doubt.

            Oh ya the 2 percent others refers to a few old aboriginals living way out in the mountains who can only understand tribal and soon dead languages. Also some of the newly naturalized foreign citizens thru marriage who hasn’t mastered the Chinese language yet. I just have a hard time seeing them as Chinese.

          • Great Khan

            I was just trying to clarify the term “Chinese” being an amalgamation of different ethnic groups. I think you are using the term for the Han ethnic group. I am referring the term to mean all of those under the “China” citizenship, be it PRC or ROC. Any other people sharing the same culture and ancestry are just overseas Chinese.

  • fi fer

    The official name for the country is The Republic of China. Don’t believe me Google it or check out wikipedia, I would know I was born there. My passport also says the same. Taiwan is just the physical island. ROC also control many other islands not part of taiwan. For those who says otherwise are simply delusional.

    • Michael Le Houllier

      There is no legal basis for a transfer of sovereignty to the Republic of China.

      • Great Khan

        You are right. The legal basis is with PRC, not ROC. While the sovereignty was legally signed over to ROC under The Treaty of Taipei in 1952, it was rescinded after the treaty was abrogated by the Japanese government on Sept. 29, 1972. Upon the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China via the Joint Communiqué of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the sovereignty is that of PRC.

        • Michael Le Houllier

          1. No, it was not signed over to the ROC in 1952. First, it was not a treaty of cession. There is no territorial transfer clause in the treaty. Second, Japan had already surrendered sovereignty over the island in the Peace Treaty of San Francisco, thus it no longer had any standing to affect the sovereign status of Taiwan. Third, even if it did, it is contrary to the UN Charter. According to the UN Charter, the authority of the Charter and the UN is supreme over treaties.

          2. Even if there were such a cession, it would accrue no benefits to the PRC. There was no legal abrogation of the Treaty of Taipei by Japan. Furthermore, according to both customary international law and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, abrogation or nullification of a treaty has absolutely ZERO impact on the legal status of the territory that was affected by the execution of the cancelled treaty.

          • Great Khan

            By your logic, I take it that the 1956 Joint Declaration between Japan and the Soviet Union should also be voided, given that it’s a few years….late?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            That is also not a treaty and there is no recognition by Japan that the four islands close to Hokkaido are Russian territory.

          • Great Khan

            You are right. It was a joint declaration only, not a peace treaty. Article 9 of the Joint Declaration did state, however: “The U.S.S.R. and Japan have agreed to continue, after the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between them, negotiations for the conclusion of a peace treaty. Hereby, the U.S.S.R., in response to the desires of Japan and taking into consideration the interest of the Japanese state, agrees to hand over to Japan the Habomai and the Shikotan Islands, provided that the actual changing over to Japan of these islands will be carried out after the conclusion of a peace treaty”.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            And there was no peace treaty that transferred Taiwan to China. And the UN Charter actually guarantees the right of Taiwanese to self-determination.

          • Great Khan

            If there was no peace treaty, then surely ROC and PRC are still at war with Japan.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Who said there was no peace treaty? There was. Just no transfer of territory.

          • Great Khan

            Please show us the peace treaty between PRC (your definition of China) and Japan that concluded WWII.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Relevance? Japan signed a peace treaty with the Allied Powers and surrendered sovereignty over Taiwan. Just didn’t transfer it to anyone. Regardless, a peace treaty was signed between the PRC and Japan in 1978.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Was it ratified?

          • Great Khan

            Please tell the Cherokees that they are still entitled to North Carolina and the abrogation of their treaties with US government is invalid. http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2497&context=californialawreview

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Not a legal, international treaty. Under international law, that land was a part of the United States.

          • Great Khan
          • Michael Le Houllier

            Was that a sovereign State? No, the land was a part of the United States in accordance with the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

          • Great Khan

            Ugh? Treaty of Paris was between the newly declared American Colonial empire with Great Britain, and how does it cover the former with the Cherokees? I thought you meant the Treaty of Long Swamp Creek that was signed the same year (1783) That treaty confirmed the northern boundary between the State of Georgia and the Cherokee, with the Cherokee ceding large amounts of land between the Savannah and Chattachoochee Rivers.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            The United Kingdom was the internationally recognized sovereign power over North America east of the Mississippi River when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

          • Great Khan

            Cherokees had “international” (in white men’s terms) treaties with sovereign colonial states before the American Revolution:

            Treaty with South Carolina, 1721

            Ceded land between the Santee, Saluda, and Edisto Rivers to the Province of South Carolina.

            Treaty of Nikwasi, 1730

            Trade agreement with the newly formed royal colony of North Carolina thru Alexander Cumming.

            Treaty of Whitehall, 1730

            “Articles of Trade and Friendship” between the Cherokee and the English colonies. Signed between seven Cherokee chiefs (including Attakullakulla) and George II of England.

            Treaty with South Carolina, 24 November 1755

            Ceded land between the Wateree and Santee Rivers to the Province of South Carolina.

            Treaty with North Carolina, 1756

            Treaty of alliance during the French and Indian War.

            Treaty of Long-Island-on-the-Holston, 20 July 1761

            Ended the Anglo-Cherokee War with the Colony of Virginia.

            Treaty of Charlestown, 18 December 1761

            Ended the Anglo-Cherokee War with the Province of South Carolina.

            Treaty of Johnson Hall, 12 March 1768

            Guaranteed peace between the Cherokee on one side and the Iroquois, the Seven Confederate Nations, and the Caughnawaga on the other.

            Treaty of Hard Labour, 14 October 1768

            Ceded land in southwestern Virginia to the British Indian Superintendent, John Stuart.[2]

            Treaty of Lochaber, 18 October 1770

            Ceded land in the later states of Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky to the Colony of Virginia.

            Treaty with Virginia, early 1772

            Ceded land in Virginia and eastern Kentucky to the Colony of Virginia. This actually seems to have been an ‘arrangement’ made pursuant to the Treaty of Lochaber in 1771, not a bona fide treaty.

            Treaty of Augusta, 1 June 1773

            Ceded Cherokee claim to 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) to the Colony of Georgia.

            Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, 14 March 1775

            Ceded claims to the hunting grounds between the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers to the Transylvania Land Company.

      • fi fer

        Huh? transfer from where? It is the same government that existed since 1911. It’s the same government allied to the US during WW2 and recognized by US government until President Nixon visited China. And it was recognized by virtually every major country since 1911. Just stating facts. Don’t take my word for it even though I was born there. Google it wiki it,,,

        • Michael Le Houllier

          From Japan…

    • cephaloless

      What is unsaid is that the size of territory that the Republic of China does not control is proportional the depth of limbo that it is in. It does not control most of Mongolia, chunks of Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Burma, long list, and of course, all of the territory controlled by the People’s Republic of China that most countries in the world recognize as “China”. What it does control is commonly referred to as simply “Taiwan” rather than the big mouth full of “Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu”. And everyone knows the official name of this particular sovereign state – that so few of the countries in the world officially recognize – is the Republic of China but it’s official map is delusional. Taiwan works pretty well unofficially though, right up until China steps in and forces Chinese Taipei in there.

      • Great Khan

        Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of Chinese history can verify that no succeeding dynasty could establish without the complete dissolution of the previous regime. That’s the case with Manchu and Tungning kingdom (Ming remnant) in Taiwan, as it was of Ming with Northern Yuan, and so on as the dynastic cycles stretched to the first unifier. This is valid indeed to the contemporaneous PRC and ROC.

        • Michael Le Houllier

          Taiwan was never a part of the Ming Dynasty. There was no legal basis for the claim that Dongning was a part of the Ming. Furthermore, there have been several instances in Chinese history in which a dynasty continued on though part of its territory was conquered or taken by others. When the Jurchen invaded China and established the Jin Dynasty, the Song Dynasty continued with a significantly smaller territory.

          • Great Khan

            i guess having the Ming dynastic seal, with the Southern Ming Emperor at residency doesn’t count?

          • Great Khan

            Song didn’t recognize Jin, and vise versa. It’s very simple, during the Western Schism—which began in 1378, when the French cardinals, claiming that the election of Pope Urban VI was invalid, elected Clement VII as Pope—led to two, and eventually three, rival lines of claimants to the papacy, but they all excommunicated one another. No different in China with those power plays.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Doesn’t change the fact that they did exist and there were diplomatic relations and communication between them. Considerable, in fact.

          • Great Khan

            United States of America and Confederated States of America also existed concurrently. The former never recognized the latter, under the same principle.

          • Great Khan

            communication doesn’t equate recognition.

          • Great Khan

            Again, please do us a favor and read up on your history. Let’s start with the simple, easily digestible map: Ricci’s 1602 Map. Blow it up and magnify it. Do you see “Tung Ning”, as in “East” and “Tranquility”, and that is, if you can read elementary level Chinese. When did the Dutch arrive at Taiwan?
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matteo_Ricci#/media/File:Kunyu_Wanguo_Quantu_(%E5%9D%A4%E8%BC%BF%E8%90%AC%E5%9C%8B%E5%85%A8%E5%9C%96).jpg

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Dongning didn’t exist in 1602. It didn’t come into existence until SIX DECADES later when Koxinga took Anping from the Dutch. Even the MIng told the Dutch that Taiwan was not a part of their territory and was confirmed by the official history of the Ming Dynasty written by the Qing. So, as for history, YOU need to do the reading, not me.

          • Great Khan

            Who scribbled the words on the 1602 map for a geographic location? I think your are confusing the Kingdom of Tungning (Not Dongning as Pinyin wasn’t invented then) with the island name. The title of the kingdom its official name, as in United States of America. “America” existed before the establishment of USA.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            So, it isn’t the Qing Dynasty either because Pinyin hadn’t been invented yet. Do you know who Koxinga is? Do you know WHEN he took Anping from the Dutch and what he called it. You really are drinking ChiCom Kool-Aid. Rather amusing actually just how devoid of facts and brainwashed you can be.

          • Great Khan

            For sure not the Qing, for they were still stuck north of the Great Wall at 1602. Certainly weren’t the Dutch or Spanish as they weren’t colonizing Formosa decades later. So, aside from the Aliens, perhaps there’s a small chance that it was the Ming who had given the name to the island and stationed a territorial marker? Enough to disprove another ignorant, but now malicious claims of yours.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            The Ming told the Dutch in 1624 that Taiwan was outside of its domains. This was confirmed in the official history of the dynasty as written by the Qing. The name Dongning was used by Koxinga and his descendants from 1662, six decades later. In the 1602 map, Taiwan is labeled as Daliuqiu.

          • Great Khan

            Sir, ask someone who has the faintest knowledge of Chinese and history to decipher what is the meaning of “Liuqiu” on the map. I know it’s difficult to see all the ignorant claims that you had put up got rebutted one by one. At least do the honor of educating yourself, and not let defensiveness and maliciousness seep in.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Liuqiu on that map is CLEARLY Taiwan. Do you see the Tropic of Cancer running through that island?!?!? THAT is Taiwan. The Tropic of Cancer runs through Chiayi County in Taiwan. Goodness me.

          • Great Khan

            Great. I give you a point for discovering the Tropic of Cancer line. We can now agree that it wasn’t the Dutch that “discovered” Formosa or Taiwan.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            I never said the Dutch discovered it. Actually, the first Europeans to see it were Portuguese. It still doesn’t mean it was a part of the Ming.

          • Great Khan

            The Ming also allocated Macau to the Portuguese years earlier. It was done for trading purposes. Besides, why place Westphalian nation state concept on China prior to 1890?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            You can definitely place China within the Westphalian system from 1919, but you could argue that the process of negotiation with Western states using western forms of international law since the 1860s and insisting on equality from that point is an implicit acceptance of the system of equality of States.

          • Great Khan

            Was Qing China appropriated that “equality”?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Increasingly in the late 19th century, yes.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            https://www.lib.umn.edu/bell/riccimap

            Matteo didn’t scribble it on there. Daliuqiu is the name here for Taiwan. No Dongning.

          • Great Khan

            You do know that Liuqiu is the pinyin for Ryukyu, right?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Oh goodness. Look at the map. There is a Da Liuqiu and a Xiao Liuqiu. Xiao Liuqiu is the Ryukyu islands. Taiwan had long been known as Liuqiu or Da Liuqiu in Chinese history. Also, look at the map closely. The Tropic of Cancer runs through Da Liuqiu. The very same Tropic of Cancer that runs through Taiwan. Unless you propose that the island of Taiwan has moved several hundred kilometers in the past four hundred years. You continue to amaze with your ignorance.

          • Great Khan

            Sir, please consult your western publication: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liuqiu

          • Michael Le Houllier

            I posted the map. And Wikipedia is not a Western publication. It is global, including many Chinese trolls.

          • Great Khan

            i thought the chinese trolls are blocked by the great firewall? And thus leaving this pedia to the sons and daughters of vandals.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            You think all Chinese trolls are in China? You still haven’t been able to make a point stick yet.

          • Great Khan

            I get it, anyone who’s not chanting the white mantra got to be a Chinese troll, or fifty-centers.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            You still can’t make a point that sticks.

          • Great Khan

            Not sure if you are reading the map correctly. The color edition has those islands clearly marked.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            I am reading it correctly. Look for the Tropic of Cancer.

          • Great Khan

            Awesome, you have just proved that Taiwan or however it’s named had been recorded in Chinese history and map way before the arrival of the Dutch.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Doesn’t mean that it was a PART of China…. the entire MAP has Chinese names on it. Are you saying that it is ALL a part of China? Even the Ming Dynasty said it was not a part of China. You are truly bordering on the absurd here.

      • fi fer

        Well, I was not the one created the name of the country You need to complain to the government of ROC if you don’t like the name of the country. As far as I know the majority of the citizens of the country have no problems with it. The name of the country the Republic of China is plastered everywhere there including all public buildings, all legal documents, and on the face of the passports.

        • cephaloless

          Never said I didn’t like the name, just noting colloquial interchangeability. And the delusion that is the official map (and thus the territorial claims) of the Republic of China.

          • Great Khan

            And it’s not delusional for Japan to include Ryukyu kingdom as its territory?

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Japan legally annexed the Ryukyu Kingdom in the 1870s, an action that was recognized by Qing China.

          • Great Khan

            Totally not true. Please check your history. Moreover, I hate to go to to the Potsdam Proclamation Article 8. I hope that still stands.

          • Great Khan

            Ryukyu was a sovereign country wrongly annexed. In 1854, a Treaty of Amity between the Ryukyu Kingdom and the United States was concluded, which was followed by the conclusion of a Treaty of Amity between the Ryukyu Kingdom and France in 1855, and Holland in 1859. Based on these treaties alone, that Japan’s annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which is called “Ryukyu Shobun” or disposal of the Ryukyu Kingdom, in 1879, was an unjustified act according to customary international law (according to white men definition).

          • Great Khan

            I am following your arguments here: show us the treaty that showed land cession. Don’t bother searching it on the internet, because the Chinese conveniently “forgotten” the Ryukyuans in the 1895 treaty. Therefore, their status are still undetermined.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            In customary international law, when a State was completely conquered, no treaty was necessary. It is logical because there is no more State to sign a treaty with. For reference, look at Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Khanate as well as the Third Polish Partition of the late 18th century, which contrasts from the first two because those were confirmed by treaties.

          • Great Khan

            We agreed then that Ryukyu kingdom was conquered by Japan in 1870’s. Let history determine what is permissable under the international “law”, then or now.

          • Great Khan

            So Iraq was alright to swallow Kuwait then in 1991, since the latter was “completely” conquered, as according to your logic.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            I think you missed something called the United Nations Charter. Are you really THAT dense?!?!?

          • Great Khan

            I am only going by your logic. I get it, it’s different rule for white men versus others. See how US had followed the UN charters in the subsequent IRAQ war.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Have you ever heard of the concept of intertemporal international law? You expose your ignorance every time you post.

          • Great Khan

            Wait a minute, I thought you are crowing for “Law of Treaties”, but now intertemporal law? I must bow down and keep up with your “FAITH” as you dance around hypocrisy, one after another.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            Both are a part of international law. You really must be completely brainwashed by the Mao Zedong School of International Propaganda.

          • Great Khan

            I am learning from your propaganda tools: start with ignorant claims, bombast with false historical facts, and when all else fails, accuse others with malicious name attacks.

          • Michael Le Houllier

            You should look in the mirror. You haven’t been able to make a single point stick yet.

          • Great Khan

            Which mouth is doing the talking, Janus?

  • xjp1953

    Good article, thank you. Your country has our sympathy and support. I hope Taiwan will be recognized soon as it already is: a sovereign, democratic country.

  • Yang Xian

    Anyone cares to list the name of the 22 countries which recognize Taiwan as an independent country?

    • Great Khan

      The inconvenient truth is that not one country recognizes Taiwan as an independent country. The 22 countries stated by you recognize the current Taiwan government as the legal representative of China.

      • Yang Xian

        A few days ago I made the comment “It is naive to wish an independent Taiwan. Just checking the name list of the 22 countries recognising Taiwan as an independent country will see what I mean”. This comment of mine was deleted. The comment-moderator of this article is clearly biased. I am considering to avoid the articles by Global Voices all together if they continue the biased stand.

        • Great Khan

          Western media continues the sneak oil that was bottled since the colonial days, and that is first to agitate the under-educated populace (slaves, hard laborers, etc.), suppress the education (burning books, change the written language (e.g., Vietnam), erect alien religion (using a White face to press down native religions), effect friction among population strata, and finally shovel alien governmental system down the populace’s throat, be it imperialism, communism, or the latest variant, “democracy”. Your open expression is suppressed by one of those methods listed above.

          • Great Khan

            Meant to say “snake” oil – From Google: Snake oil is an expression that originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicine but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit.

      • Yang Xian

        Yes, you are right. I missed the subtlety here.

  • YiJiun

    Yes, it is the world’s first country without an independence day to celebrate. Taiwan is a country calling itself the Republic of CHINA. Now, fault me on that. ;)

  • qiuwei

    Taiwan is currently ruled by China. it official government is call the Republic of China, not the Republic of Taiwan. the problem is ROC does not only rule Taiwan, Kinmen and Taiping for example is something the Republic would have to give up if it abandon it status as China since those are clearly not part of Taiwan and as territories of China.

    furthermore, the One China Policy is the result of the ROC policy to keep the PRC out of UN. another word, it is ROC that spend the political capital to create the problem where only “one china can remain”. it is also ROC decision to quit the UN after it had veto PRC entry and eventually failed when US decide to switch recognition to PRC. the fact is no major country including mine recognises Taiwan because Taiwan itself does not yet recognise itself as a country, it recognises Republic of China as a country but the ROC isn’t the same as Taiwan.

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