Has Taiwan Always Been Part of China?

The historical relationship is more complicated than Beijing would like to admit.

The Diplomat
Date: December 01, 2020
By: Gerrit van der Wees

A drawing made in 1675 of the 1662 surrender of Fort Zeelandia in Formosa.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In early November, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo caused quite an uproar, when, in an interview with the Hugh Hewitt Show, he stated that “Taiwan has not been a part of China, and that was recognized with the work that the Reagan administration did to lay out the policies that the United States has adhered to now for three and a half decades, and done so under both administrations.”

From the context of the remarks it is clear that Pompeo refers to the fact that since its founding in 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government in Beijing has never had any sovereignty over Taiwan. It has always been ruled independently: first, of course, by the regime of Chiang Kai-shek, who wanted to “recover the mainland.” But since the early 1990s Taiwan has been a vibrant democracy that wants to be accepted as a full and equal member in the international family of nations.

With his mention of “the work of the Reagan administration,” Pompeo refers specifically to one clause in the Six Assurances, promulgated by President Ronald Reagan in July 1982, in which he stated that the United States “has not altered its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan.” 

That referred specifically to the U.S. position that it considered Taiwan’s international status “undetermined,” in accordance with the outcome of the 1951-52 San Francisco Peace Treaty. In that treaty, Japan had formally ceded sovereignty over the island, but it was not decided to whom. Most countries at the 1951 Peace Conference argued that Taiwan’s status needed to be determined in due time, in accordance with the principle of self-determination enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.    [FULL  STORY]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.