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Taiwan’s legal status

China’s claims over Taiwan are about as valid as the UK trying to reclaim Australia. However, the question that must be asked is what exactly is Taiwan’s legal status?

An interesting letter was recently published in the Taipei Times. Richard Hartzell, a foreign long-term resident of Taiwan argues that Taiwan is actually a protectorate of the United States. The legal basis for this is the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Effectively it means Taiwan’s status has remained unresolved since World War II.

I find the analysis interesting although there are contrary points of view. I would argue that the sovereignty of Taiwan rests with the Taiwanese people. The problem is that international politics prevent them from freely exercising their democratic choice on this issue. Obviously there is the belligerence of China, but also problematic is the US’s ambiguous policies and the ineffectiveness of the UN. There is no hope for Taiwan in the UN because (a) it is not a member and (b) China holds a permanent seat on the UN Security Council giving it an effective veto over any efforts to recognise Taiwan’s independence.

The whole issue exposes the hypocrisy of governments around the world at many levels and also the failure of institutions, particularly the UN, to provide for international justice.

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Comment by David
2005-05-18 13:00:00

Another letter by Richard Hartzell was published in the Taipei Times on 16 May 2005.

Read it here.

Comment by David
2005-07-08 13:32:00

A couple more recent letters in the Taipei Times that comment further on Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Scholarship counts
Clearing the air over sovereignty

Comment by David
2005-07-12 15:08:00

Another letter commenting on the issue: Missing the point

Comment by David
2005-07-13 20:35:00

The debate rages on in the Taipei Times.

One true interpretation

Comment by David
2005-07-15 16:37:00

Hartzell just had another article published in the Taipei Times.

Comment by David
2005-07-20 17:40:00

Yet another letter in the Taipei Times: Don’t dismiss Hartzell. And another one on a related topic: Declining the offer.

Comment by David
2005-07-25 20:08:00

Yet more letters in the TT on Hartzell’s case.

International law no help
Legal expertise questioned

Comment by David
2005-08-01 10:45:00

Another one in the TT: Nice theory, but who cares?

This one says Hartzell’s theory is nice, but totally irrelavent.

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