INTRODUCTION TO TAIWAN'S LEGAL STATUS

  Foreign Relations of the United States  
  DOCUMENTS ON THE TAIWAN STATUS ISSUE  




46-1)       Nov. 21, 1946
There was no legal transfer of Taiwan's territorial sovereignty to China in 1945
From the legal standpoint the transfer of Taiwan's sovereignty remains to be formalized; assumably a treaty of cession will in due course be negotiated.


49-1)       Jan. 19, 1949
To date, Taiwan is still legally a part of the Empire of Japan
Formosa and the Pescadores are under the de facto control of the Chinese Nationalists, but legally still part of the Empire of Japan.


49-2)       May 25, 1949
Policy Toward Formosa
The British do not consider Taiwan to be Chinese territory, hence if the ROC moves to Taiwan it will become a government in exile. The Economist has referred to Taiwan as the "Ownerless Isle."


49-3)       June 9, 1949
Plebiscite Proposal
There has been no recognition (by the Allies) that Taiwan has been incorporated into Chinese territory.


49-4)       Oct. 21, 1949
US Military Occupation of Taiwan is preferable
US military occupation of Taiwan has been requested by local Taiwanese residents.


49-5)       Oct. 23, 1949
Right of conquest
Chinese President Li Zongren is in favor of joint Sino-American Commission to govern Taiwan, but admits US could take control based on right of conquest.


49-6)       Dec. 3, 1949
Special Responsibility of US
The United States has a special responsibility for Taiwan due to its military liberation of the island.


50-1)       Oct. 23, 1950
International Problem
By sending the Seventh Fleet into the Taiwan Strait, the U.S. Executive Branch has forcefully emphasized its position that Formosa is an international problem.


50-2)       Nov. 11, 1950
No Formal Act
To date, no Formal Act restoring Formosa & Pescadores to China has occurred.


50-3)       Nov. 16, 1950
Principal Victor over Japan
As principal victor over Japan, US has great a responsibility in regard to the disposition of Formosa.


51-1)       Jan. 6, 1951
Statement of Intent
The Cairo Declaration was a statement of intent, but itself did not constitute a "cession" of territory.


51-2)       May 3, 1951
Occupation of Formosa
There are many types of military occupation, and the US could occupy Formosa without any Americans being present . . . .


52-1)       June 2, 1952
Sovereignty over Formosa is still undetermined
Sovereignty over Formosa is still undetermined with the coming into force of the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) on April 28, 1952.


54-1)       Sept. 27, 1954
Inchoate Juridical Status
Formosa and the Pescadores (aka "Taiwan") have an inchoate juridical status under SFPT, however Kinmen and Mazu have continuously been Chinese territory.


54-2)       Oct. 14, 1954
US juridical position
Neither the San Francisco Peace Treaty of April 28, 1952, nor the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (Treaty of Taipei) of Aug. 5, 1952 can be interpreted to say that Formosa and the Pescadores have been ceded to China. Importantly, the United States retains a juridical position in these islands.


54-3)       Oct. 18, 1954
Distinctive Juridical Status
(Eisenhower:) Technically, Formosa and the Pescadores are not under Chinese sovereignty. The Chinese Nationalists are living in a privileged sanctuary.


54-4)       Oct. 28, 1954
Unsatisfied US Interest
Japan did not cede sovereignty over Formosa and the Pescadores to China. Japan renounced its own sovereignty but left the future title undefined. As principal victor over Japan, the United States has an unsatisfied interest in these former Japanese islands.


55-1)       July 1, 1955
United States Could Assert Legal Claim
In the peace treaty, Japan has merely renounced sovereignty over Taiwan, but there has been no other disposition. The United States also has an interest in Taiwan and could assert a legal claim to the island(s). Hence, the disposition of Taiwan is not merely an internal Chinese problem.


56-1)       June 10, 1956
Former Japanese Territories
The United States has residual responsibility over all former Japanese territories.




-- UK Parliament documents --


selections:



RE: Cairo and Potsdam Declarations
  [Feb. 7, 1955]     No transfer of sovereignty in 1945


RE: Legal Status of Formosa and the Pescadores
  [Feb. 9, 1955]     Unilateral declarations have no effect


RE: Far East (Formosa and the Pescadores)
  [May 4, 1955]     Military occupation


RE: The International Situation
  [Dec. 21, 1955]     Exile in Formosa


RE: Formosa and the Pescadores (Sovereignty)
  [Jan. 30, 1956]     Sovereignty in Abeyance