Political Status of Taiwan

Taiwan is the neighbor of China and ever since the end of the Second World War its political status was ambiguous. On one side, the Taiwanese do not recognize the sovereignty of China over the Taiwanese territory, and on the other hand China considers it part of the mainland. The controversy evolved along the idea whether Taiwan together with Penghu, Kimnen and Matsu should remain de facto independent from the People’s Republic of China or simply the mainland, as grouped into the Republic of China or ROC. The question is in fact if Taiwan should remain an independent state within the Republic of China (not to be confused with the mainland for reasons explained above) or it should declare its own independency with regards to this political entity and thus to become the Republic of Taiwan. Nonetheless, an issue at state is also its recognition on the international arena.

Nowadays, Taiwan together with Penghu, Kimnen and Matsu and also with some other minor islands in the area is part of the state known as the Republic of China. The world in the West refers to this state with the generic name of Taiwan. The Republic of China, or ROC took however control over Taiwan and the other islands after the Second World War and ruled mainland China until 1949 when it lost the Chinese Civil War. The Republic of China, on the other hand, lost its seat in the United Nations when it was replaced by the People’s Republic of China. Ever since, the international community recognized the latter as being the sole and the legitimate representative of all China. The controversy is also fueled by the fact that the international community did not clearly state what territories they recognize as being part of China. The ROC is however officially maintaining diplomatic relations with 23 states, although in fact such relations are maintained with nearly all others.