Foreign relations of Taiwan

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Building of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Taipei.

The foreign relations of Taiwan, constitutionally and officially the Republic of China (ROC),12 are the relations between the Republic of China and other countries. The Republic of China is recognized by 21 United Nations member states, as well as by the Holy See. ROC maintains diplomatic relations with those countries, as well as unofficial relations with other countries via its representative offices and consulates.

The Republic of China participated in the Moscow Conference (1943), the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and was a charter member of the United Nations. In 1949, the Nationalists lost the Chinese Civil War in mainland China and retreated to Taiwan. Despite the major loss of territory, the ROC continued to be recognized as the legitimate government of China by the UN and by many non-Communist states. In 1971, the UN expelled the ROC and transferred China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC). As a result, the Republic of China lost its membership in all the intergovernmental organizations related to the UN. As the UN and related organizations like International Court of Justice are the most common venues for effective execution of international law and serve as the international community for states in the post-World War II period, a majority of the countries aligned with the West in the Cold War terminated diplomatic relations with the ROC and recognized quid pro quo of the PRC instead. However, the Republic of China fulfills all the requirements in Article 3, 4, 5, 6, 110 and Chapter V of the United Nations Charter.34 The ROC's de jure seat is currently occupied by the People's Republic of China in the United Nations under the UN Charter (for more, see Chapter II of the United Nations Charter). The ROC continues to maintain de facto relations,56 including with most of the non-governmental organizations78910111213 at the United Nations, in addition with the concern from UNESCO.14 Exclusively, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which is entitled by the founding of the United Nations as the cornerstone of modern-day diplomacy since the Vienna Congress, was signed and ratified by the Republic of China on 18 April 1961 and 19 December 1969.15

The ROC is one of the main supporters of official development assistance.16 International Cooperation and Development Fund manages ROC's Foreign Assistance and International Cooperation projects.1718 As of 2010, along with other US security allies including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea in the Asia-Pacific region with Taiwan Relations Act, officials of the ROC have gained quasi-official level visits to the United States both in the governmental and political level, including the US-Taiwan cooperative military guidance192021 in the annual Han Kuang joint-force exercises.22 Taiwan's GDP by nominal means is ahead of several G20 economies of global financial governance.23 In the context of international norm of tabula rasa, there is a variety of forms for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROC as a de facto state in readiness to join the international community, and (if applicable) as a sui generis entity of international law abiding by the reference of Ex factis jus oritur 24 principle and a priori and a posteriori of the Republic of China, to participate in the international organizations as defined by the international organizational norms and Union of International Associations.252627

Historical background

Taiwan was annexed from China by Japan in 1895 after the First Sino-Japanese War. In the Northern Expedition, the Nationalists defeated the warlords of the Beiyang clique and established a unified government for China in Nanjing. The United States recognized Nationalist China on 25 July 1928, the first government to do so.28 The Japanese occupied much of China during World War II. After Japan's defeat in 1945, a civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists followed. The Communists gained control of the mainland in 1949 and proclaimed the People's Republic of China, while the Nationalists fled to Taiwan. In 1952, Taiwan was ceded by Japan in the Treaty of San Francisco.

In 1916, A.P. Winston, the author of Chinese Finance under the Republic, said, "chief sources of information on those matters of discussion which have been subjects of diplomacy" were official publications from the United Kingdom.29 Winston explained that few official reports from the Chinese government aside from the maritime customs sector had appeared at that point, and that the government of the Republic of China was "too poor, perhaps still too secretive, to make regular and full publication of statistics."29

International disputes

The vote in the UN General Assembly on Resolution 2758 (1971).

The 1970s saw a switch in diplomatic recognition from the ROC to the PRC, with countries like the United States, Japan, and Canada making the switch during that decade. In October 1971, Resolution 2758 was passed by the UN General Assembly, expelling "the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek" and transferred China's seat on the Security Council to the PRC. The resolution declared that "the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations."

Many attempts by the ROC to rejoin the UN, in recent years, have not made it past committee, under fierce opposition and threatened vetoes by the PRC. Attempts under President Chen Shui-bian attempted the argument that Resolution 2758, replacing the ROC with the PRC in 1971, only addressed the question of who should have China's seat in the UN, rather than whether an additional seat for the Taiwan Area can be created to represent the 23 million people on Taiwan and other islands. The argument, however, has not been accepted by the UN.

As of 2013, 21 UN member states and the Holy See officially recognize ROC.

On less official terms, Taiwan is involved in a complex dispute for control over the Spratly Islands with China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; and over the Paracel Islands, occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and by Taiwan. Taiwan claims the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, which are called the Diaoyu Islands in Taiwan and China.

On 7 November 2003, diplomatic ties were established with Kiribati. However, the ROC did not demand that ties be broken with PRC, and ROC Foreign Minister Eugene Chien said that he would not reject having both sides of the Taiwan Strait recognized simultaneously.30 PRC also broke precedent by not cutting ties until 29 November and spent the interim lobbying for Kiribati President Anote Tong to reverse his decision. The decision to hold off for weeks was possibly due to the strategic importance of China's satellite tracking base on Kiribati, which had been used for Shenzhou V and thought to have been used to spy on a U.S. missile range in the Marshall Islands.

Relations and changes

List of diplomatic missions of Taiwan and List of diplomatic missions in Taiwan

Since 1990's, after Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in People's Republic of China, due to Taiwan's economic strength, Chinese heritage, regional network, business interests, democracy and American involvement that most of the countries with political and economic significance in the world were willing to open unofficial representative offices (that function as the unofficial embassies in most cases and offer consular assistance) in Taiwan as List of diplomatic missions in Taiwan and allow Taiwan to remain an unofficial post in their countries as well as List of diplomatic missions of Taiwan with consular services.

Countries and other entities with diplomatic relations with Taiwan

The ROC embassy in Swaziland.
Foreign relations of Taiwan
  diplomatic relations

  non-diplomatic official relations

11 Central American and Caribbean countries, continue to recognize Taiwan, while 9 do not. Taiwan also has succeeded in keeping relations with about half of the small Oceanic island nations.

In the following list, the dates indicate establishment or duration of relations and the asterisk an embassy in Taipei:

Africa (3 states)


Oceania (6 states)


South America (1 state)

Central America and the Caribbean (11 states)


Europe (1)

Due to the limited size of the Vatican, all embassies accredited to the Holy See are actually located in Rome, outside the borders of the Vatican. Hence, the Republic of China's embassy to the Holy See is actually located in a country that does not officially recognize the ROC.

Panama established diplomatic relations with Qing dynasty in 1909 and continued to maintain relations with its successor Republic of China until the present.31

President Chen Shui-bian (far left) attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and as the Holy See's recognized head of state of China, was seated in the first row in alphabetical order beside the first lady and president of Brazil.

Recent changes in diplomatic relations

Kiribati established diplomatic relations with the ROC on 7 November 2003, switching recognition from the PRC.32 Saudi Arabia ended their diplomatic relations with the ROC in 1990. South Korea was the last country in Asia which had official diplomatic relations with the ROC, but also ended their diplomatic relations in 1992.citation needed

South Africa switched recognition to the PRC in 1998. Liberia switched from PRC to ROC in 1989, and back to PRC in October 2003. On 31 March 2004, Dominica ended its recognition, which began in 1983, because of offers from the PRC to provide $117 million over six years. The Republic of Macedonia recognized the ROC in 1999 but switched diplomatic recognition in 2001 after the PRC imposed economic sanctions and used a rare veto on the UN Security Council to block peacekeeping efforts.33

The Gambia recognized Taiwan from 1968 until 1974, and then once more from 1995 until 14 November 2013, when President Yahya Jammeh's office announced it had cut diplomatic ties with immediate effect.34

On Tuesday March 18, 2014 Guatemalan former President Alfonso Portillo pleaded guilty in the Federal District Court in Manhattan, United States to a charge that he accepted bribes in exchange for diplomatic recognition of Taiwan. President Perez Molina said that Guatemala's relations with Taiwan were and are strong and that the Portillo confession will not affect the diplomatic relations between the two nations.35 On Wednesday March 19, 2014 Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the matter.36

Countries with non-diplomatic representation in Taiwan

Taiwan has non-diplomatic, unofficial relations with the European Union and at least 47 states, recognizing the People's Republic of China, that maintain "Economic, Trade and/or Cultural" (or similar) offices in Taiwan. These relations are not inter-governmental nor are they officially diplomatic or political. However, they have many of the functions usually assigned to actual embassies, including the processing of visas, cultural exchanges and to some extent, unofficial diplomatic and governmental exchanges.37 For example, the American Institute in Taiwan functions as the United States' de facto "embassy" in Taiwan with the chairman and staff acting as "unofficial" government consulate officers who nevertheless perform duties that official embassies would undertake.

Countries without any representation in Taiwan

The following states, recognizing Beijing, do not maintain any representation in Taiwan (including any non-political, non-diplomatic, non inter-governmental representation):

De facto or de jure states and entities with no relations with either ROC or PRC

The following table includes Bhutan, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and some of the states with limited recognition:

Name Recognized by Taiwan Notes
 Abkhazia No Recognized by five UN member states.
 Bhutan Yes38 Bhutan has no diplomatic relations with either China or Taiwan, but voted in favour of Beijing's entry into the UN in 1971 and conducts relations with China through their respective missions in India39 and has honorary consulates in Hong Kong and Macau.
 The Gambia Yes After abruptly severing ties with Taiwan in November 2013, The Gambia plans to have ties with PRC.40
 Kosovo Yes4142 Recognized by 107 UN states, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
 Nagorno-Karabakh Republic No
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic No43 Recognized by 84 UN states and South Ossetia, claimed by Morocco.
 Somaliland No Somaliland has sent 9 doctors to be trained in the Republic of China (Taiwan) 44
 South Ossetia No Recognized by five UN member states.
 Sovereign Military Order of Malta Yes45 A sovereign entity without territory, established diplomatic relations with 104 states.
 Transnistria No
 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus No46

Number of countries recognizing ROC and PRC

Year Recognition of ROC47 Recognition of PRC
1950
1969 71 48
1971 68 53
1973 31 89
1978 21 112
1986 23 134
1990 28 139
2012 23 172
2013 22 172

Countries that have switched recognition from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China after 1949

Former French Embassy to the Republic of China in Nanjing.

Taiwan has publicly feared that if any one state should switch its recognition to Beijing, it would create a domino effect, encouraging other states to do so as well.48 The Holy See (Vatican) – the only European state to recognize Taiwan – made efforts in 2007 to create formal ties with Beijing.49 High-ranking bishops in the Catholic Church have implied that such a diplomatic move was possible,50 predicated on China's granting more freedom of religion51 and interfering less in the hierarchy of the Chinese Catholic church.52

Country Period of recognition of the Republic of China
Albania Albania to 1949
Afghanistan Afghanistan to 1955
 Argentina 1945 to 1972
 Australia 1941 to 1972
 Austria 1928 to 1971
 Bahamas 1989 to 1997
 Belgium 1928 to 1971
 Bolivia to 1985
 Botswana 1966 to 1975
 Brazil 1928 to 1974
Bulgaria Bulgaria 1947 to 1949
 Burma 1948 to 1950
 Cameroon 1960 to 1971
 Canada 1941 to 1970
 Central African Republic 1962 to 1964, 1968 to 1976, 1991 to 1998
 Ivory Coast 1963 to 1983
 Chad 1962 to 1972, 1997 to 200653
 Chile 1931 to 1970
 Colombia 1941 to 1979
 Congo-Brazzaville 1960 to 1964
 DR Congo 1960 to 1961, 1961 to 197254
 Costa Rica 1944 to 200755
 Cuba 1929 to 1960
 Czechoslovakia 1931 to 1949
 Dahomey 1960 to 1964, 1966 to 1972
 Denmark 1928 to 1950
 Dominica 1983 to 2004
 Egypt to 1956
 Ecuador 1947 to 1980
 Equatorial Guinea to 1970
 Finland 1925 to 1934/195056
 France 1928 to 1964
 Gabon 1960 to 1974
 The Gambia 1968 to 1974, 1995 to 2013
 Greece 1947 to 1972
 Grenada 1989 to 2005
 Guinea to 1959
 Guinea-Bissau 1990 to 1998
Hungary Hungary to 1949
 Iceland to 1971
 India 1947 to 1950
 Indonesia 1945 to 1950
Iran Iran to 1971
 Iraq 1942 to 1958
 Israel 1949 to 1950
 Italy 1928 to 1970
 Jamaica to 1972
 Japan 1930 to 1937, 1952 to 1972
 Jordan 1947 to 1977
 Kuwait 1963 to 1971
 Laos 1953 to 1962
 Lebanon to 1971
 Lesotho 1966 to 1983, 1990 to 1994
 Liberia 1957 to 1977, 1989 to 1993, 1997 to 2003
 Libya to 1971
 Liechtenstein to 1950
 Luxembourg 1949 to 1972
 Macedonia 1999 to 2001
 Madagascar to 1972
 Malawi 1966 to 200857
 Malaysia 1957 to 1974
 Mexico 1928 to 1972
 Mongolia 1946 to 1949
 Monaco 1934 to 1995
 Morocco 1956 to 1958
 Netherlands 1928 to 1950
   Nepal to 1955
 New Zealand to 1972
 Nicaragua 1962 to 1985
 Niger 1963 to 1974, 1992 to 1996
 Nigeria 1960 to 1971
 Norway 1928 to 1950
 Pakistan 1947 to 1951
 Peru 1931 to 1971
 Philippines 1948 to 1975
 Poland 1930 to 1949
 Portugal 1928 to 1975
Romania Romania 1939 to 1949
 San Marino to 1971
 Saudi Arabia 1946 to 1990
 Senegal 1969 to 1972, 1996 to 2005
 Sierra Leone to 1971
 South Africa 1976 to 199858
 Spain 1928 to 1973
 Soviet Union 1929 to 1949
 South Korea 1949 to 1992
 South Vietnam 1955 to 197559
 Sudan 1956 to 1959
 Sri Lanka 1948 to 1957
 Sweden 1928 to 1950
  Switzerland to 1950
 Syria to 1956
 Thailand 1945 to 1975
 Togo 1960 to 1972
 Tonga 1972 to 1998
 Turkey 1934 to 197160
 Uganda to 1962
 United Arab Emirates 1973 to 1984
 United Kingdom 1928 to 1950
 United States 1928 to 1979
 Uruguay 1966 to 1988
 Vanuatu 2004-11-03 to 2004-11-1061
 Venezuela 1944 to 1974
 West Germany 1955 to 1972
Yemen Yemen to 1956
 Yugoslavia 1945 to 1955

Countries that have never recognized Taipei, but do recognize Beijing

Country Period of recognition
 Ethiopia Did not recognize either state until it recognized Beijing in 1970.
 Ireland Did not recognize either state until it recognized Beijing in 1979.
 Singapore Did not recognize either state until it recognized Beijing in 1991.

Cross-Strait relations

Relations between Taiwan and mainland China have been engulfed by Cold War history and American foreign policy of Containment in East Asia after the Korean War broke out by not "letting the dust settles of the Chinese Nationalist on Formosa".62 In modern days the two polities of accession 63 have had the lifting of Martial law (Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion) 64 from Republic of China to People's Republic of China and recently with the enactment of Anti-Secession Law by People's Republic of China to Republic of China. The two sides currently lack any cross-strait military confidence-building measures (CBM) "to improve military-to-military relations in ways that reduce fears of attack and the potential for military miscalculation." 65 For more about confidence-building measures (CBM), see.6667 Nuclear tensions had been risen since PRC promulgated the Anti-Secession Law towards military intervention from United States of America on Taiwan independence. 686970717273

Neither Taipei nor Beijing sees their relations as foreign relations. The government position that both Taiwan and mainland China are parts of the same state is not universally accepted in Taiwan. In particular, the pro-independence Pan-Green Coalition considers Taiwan and China to be different countries. By contrast, the pro-reunification Pan-Blue Coalition take the view that both Taiwan and mainland China are parts of the same state, the Republic of China. Former president Lee Tung-hui described these relations as "Special State-to-State Relations".74 The subsequent administrations of President Chen Shui-bian described Taiwan and China by saying "...with Taiwan and China on each side of the Taiwan Strait, each side is a country.". Current President Ma Ying-jeou has returned to the government position of the early 1990s, calling relations with Beijing special relations between two areas within one state. That state according to Taiwan is the Republic of China, and due to constitutional reasons, neither Taipei nor Beijing recognises each other as a legitimate government.757677

The term preferred by Taiwanese and Chinese governments is "cross-strait relations", referring to the geographical separator, the Taiwan Strait. The constitutional position of Taipei is that the territory of the Republic of China is divided into the "Mainland Area" and the "Free Area" (also known as "Taiwan Area"). Administratively, cross-strait relations are not conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, but by the Mainland Affairs Council, an instrumental of the Executive Yuan. The relations with Hong Kong and Macau are also conducted by the Mainland Affairs Council, although not all regulations applicable to mainland China are automatically applied to those territories.

Consistently with the policies of both governments, Taiwanese and Chinese governments do not directly interact. Talks are conducted by China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), formally privately constituted bodies that are controlled and directly answerable to the executive branch of their respective governments.

Until the late 1990s Hong Kong and Macau were British and Portuguese colonies respectively. They provided neutral detour points for people and goods moving from one side of the strait to the other. They, as well as Singapore, also served as venues for talks between the two sides at that time. One Modus vivendi outcome of such talks in neutral venues was the 1992 Consensus, arising from a meeting in Hong Kong in 1992. Under this consensus, the two sides agree that both Taiwan and mainland China are under the same single sovereignty of China, but the two sides agree to disagree on which side is the legitimate representative of that sovereignty. Setting aside that disagreement, the two sides agreed to co-operate on practical matters, such as recognising certifications authenticated by the other side.78

Relations between Taipei and Beijing have warmed since the election of President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang in 2008, with the promotion of cross-strait links and increased economic and social interchanges between the two sides which has seen the economy of Taiwan grow and recover from President Chen Shui-bian's two terms of office. Official high-level meeting was held on 11 February 2014 in Nanjing that marked the first time China recognized Taiwan's top government officials on matters across the Taiwan Strait.79 The thawed tensions across the Taiwan Strait is not welcomed by the Pan-Green Coalition in Taiwan for the Taiwan independence movement.

Bilateral relations

South Korea

South Korea was the last Asian country that had an official diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The Republic of China recognized the formal establishment of the First Republic of the Republic of Korea in 1948. On 4 January 1949, the ROC set up an embassy in Myeongdong, Seoul. However, on 23 August 1992, the ROC severed diplomatic relations with South Korea in advance of the South Korea's formal recognition of and establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Soon after, Taiwan and South Korea established the unofficial tie.

United States

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President Chiang Kai-shek of Republic of China in Taiwan. 1960.
With Chiang Kai-shek, Eisenhower waves to the crowd during his visit to Taiwan in June 1960.

Commercial 80 (such as Trade and Investment Framework Agreement signed in 1994, TIFA81828384), cultural, and other relations between "the people of the United States" and "the people on Taiwan" are currently governed by the Taiwan Relations Act. The Act does not recognize the terminology of "Republic of China" after 1 January 1979 as US recognizes People's Republic of China instead of Republic of China.85 Taiwan has been mentioned in the Three Communiqués between the United States and China. Taiwanese passport holders are included in the US Visa Waiver Program for the stay of 90 days that commences on 1 November 2012.86 After 1979, US-Taiwan Business Council continues to provide the commercial avenue (mostly semiconductor technology related) and arms sales service from United States of America to Republic of China.87888990919293

Similar positions on Taiwan are taken by a majority of countries. Twenty-three states recognize the ROC only. During the 1990s, the ROC actively encouraged such recognition through generous grants of foreign aid. In the 2000s, this strategy was abandoned because the PRC could outbid the ROC with foreign aid, and the spending of large sums of money to buy recognition became quite unpopular in Taiwan.

In the 2000s, the diplomatic strategy of the ROC appears to have shifted to encourage "democratic solidarity" with major powers, such as the United States, Europe, and Japan.

In 2007, a measure was introduced into the United States Congress that would dramatically strengthen U.S. ties with Taiwan.94 The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the lift of United States government curbs on visits by high-ranking or top ROC officials. The Resolution noted that "whenever high-level visitors from Taiwan, including the President, seek to come to the United States, their requests result in a period of complex, lengthy and humiliating negotiations." In an additional note on the resolution, it said: "Lifting these restrictions will help bring a friend and ally of the United States out of its isolation, which will be beneficial to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region."95

A bill was also introduced by U.S. lawmakers to back the UN bid by Taiwan. The bill stated that Taiwan and its 23 million people "deserve membership in the United Nations" and that the United States should fulfill a commitment "to more actively support Taiwan's membership in appropriate international organizations." The bill was introduced on 8 November 2007, at the House Foreign Affairs Committee by 18 Republican legislators and one Democrat. Congressional records show that the move was led by New Jersey Republican Representative Scott Garrett.96

Official diplomatic relations are currently nonexistent, as the United States ended them in 1979 as a prerequisite for establishing ties with the PRC. Unofficial diplomatic relations are nevertheless maintained on both sides by means of de facto embassies, which are technically "private organizations" staffed by career diplomats who are formally "on leave". The ROC's de facto embassy network is the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) with offices in Washington, D.C., and 12 other U.S. cities, as well as many other countries without official ties to the ROC. The Americans' analogous organization is the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). As of 2010, officials of the ROC have gained quasi-official level visits to the United States both in the governmental and political level.2297

Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, and Saudi Arabia

President Muhammad Naguib with Chinese Muslim Kuomintang National Revolutionary Army General Ma Bufang
Republic of China Chinese Muslim National Revolutionary Army General Ma Bufang with the Kuomintang ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1955.
Ma Bufang and family in Egypt in 1954.
Ma Bufang in Egypt in 1955.

Egypt maintained relations until 1956, when Gamal Abdel Nasser cut off relations and established them with the People's Republic of China instead. Ma Bufang, who was then living in Egypt, then was ordered to move to Saudi Arabia, and became the ROC ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Ambassador Wang Shi-ming was a Chinese Muslim, and the ROC ambassador to Kuwait.98 The ROC also maintained relations with Libya, and Saudi Arabia.

India

Leadership meetings between Republic of China and India were carried out even before Indian independence from Great Britain in the early 1940s.99 Taiwan is included in the Look East policy by India. The bilateral relations between India and Taiwan have improved since the 1990s despite both nations not maintaining official diplomatic relations.100101 India recognizes only the People's Republic of China. However, India's economic and commercial links as well as people-to-people contacts with Taiwan have expanded in recent years.100 Like the People's Republic of China, Taiwan has border disputes with India over Arunanchal Pradesh. The Constitution of the Republic of China declares this area a part of South Tibet, and disputes the validity of the McMahon Line based on which Arunanchal Pradesh is presently a state of India.

Iran

On 1 June 1920, a friendship agreement was signed between the governments of China and Iran. Ratifications were exchanged on 6 February 1922, and the agreement went into effect on the same day.102 These relations came to an end in 1971, and Tehran recognized Beijing.

Japan

Japan-Taiwan relations are guided by the 1972 Japan-PRC Joint Communique. Japan has maintained non-governmental, working-level relations with Taiwan ever since.

Malaysia

The relations are conducted on an unofficial level as Kuala Lumpur has changed to a one-China policy in 1974 and only recognised the People's Republic of China. However, economic and cultural relations are still maintained with Malaysia has an trade centre office in Taipei,103 and Taiwan has an economic and cultural centre in Kuala Lumpur.104

Mongolia

Until 1945 Nationalist China claimed sovereignty over Mongolia, but under Soviet pressure and as part of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance of August 1945, it recognized Mongolian independence. In 1953, due to the deterioration of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, it revoked this recognition and kept considering it a part of mainland China.105106

On 3 October 2002 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Taiwan recognizes Mongolia as an independent country,107 although no legislative actions were taken to address concerns over its constitutional claims to Mongolia.108 A Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office was opened in Ulaanbaatar, and Taipei excluded Mongolia from the definition of the "mainland area" for administrative purposes. In 2006, old laws regulating the formation of banners and monasteries in Outer Mongolia were repealed. Offices established to support Taipei's claims over Outer Mongolia, such as the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission,109 lie dormant.110111 However, the official borders of the Republic of China have not been changed via a vote of the National Assembly (as required by the Constitution prior to 2005) or via a referendum (as required by the Constitution after amendments made in 2005).112 The official status of recognition is currently ambiguous, though in practice Mongolia is treated as an ordinary foreign power.

Paraguay

The partnership between the anti-communist governments of General Alfredo Stroessner and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was quite natural. Many Paraguayan officers went for training in Fu Hsing Kang College in Taiwan.113

The ousting of Stroessner in 1989, and his successor Andrés Rodríguez's reinventing himself as a democratically elected president, were immediately followed by invitations from Beijing to switch diplomatic recognition.114 However, the Taiwanese ambassador, Wang Sheng, and his diplomats were able to convince the Paraguayans that continuing the relationship with Taiwan, and thus keeping Taiwan's development assistance and access to Taiwan's markets, would be more advantageous for Paraguay.

Philippines

The Philippines recognize the One China Policy but has relations with Taiwan through the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Manila. Both offices were established in 1975 and were organized as non-profit and non-stock private corporations.

Russia

In the Chinese Civil War, the Soviet Union had a tumultuous yet strategic relations with the Kuomintang-led Nationalist China until 1949 with the proclamation of the People's Republic of China and the subsequent military takeover of Mainland China by the Chinese Communist Party. In the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, the Soviet Union under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev recommended the internationalization of the Taiwan Question and appealed to the United Nations and other multilateral organizations to erase the crisis, further, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union called for the Ten Nations Summit in New Delhi to discuss the issue and eradicate the military tension on 27 September 1958 and undermined as one of the precursors of the latter Sino-Soviet split.115 Since the formation of the Russian Federation, Taiwan has exported many ferric materials to Russia in 2004–2005. In 2005, the total amount of the trade between the two economies was $2,188,944,473. Russia also has a representative office in Taipei,116 and Republic of China has a representative office in Moscow.117 According to the data, Russia keeps a positive balance in its trade relations with Taiwan mainly from crude oil, cast iron and steel, nonferrous metals, petrochemical products, ferroalloys, coking coal, timber, and chemical fertilizers. Russia imports mostly electronics and electronic parts, computers and computer parts, and home appliances. The two countries cooperate closely and intensely by establishing unofficial diplomatic relations since 1993~1996. Taipei is targeting Russia for exporting opportunities and marketing potentials and this mutually-beneficial relationship is effective, especially under the framework of APEC.118

Singapore

Singapore had maintained unofficial relations with both the ROC and the PRC until 1992. It was decided in the Second Ministerial Meeting of APEC as chaired by Singapore in 1990 for the inclusion of the ROC commencing from the Third Ministerial Meeting in Seoul.119 After the establishment of diplomatic ties between Singapore and PRC on 3 October 1992, it continues to maintain close economic and military ties with Taiwan as part of its attempt to position itself as a neutral party to both sides. This is, however, a diplomatically delicate situation which has flared up occasionally. A severe diplomatic row broke out between China and Singapore when Lee Hsien Loong visited Taiwan a month before being sworn-in as the Prime Minister of Singapore on 12 August 2004.120 Singapore's Ministry of Defence took great pains to correct an erroneous report in the Liberty Times on a joint military exercise between the Singapore and Taiwan in March 2005.121 Still, Singapore is the only foreign country to maintain military training camps in Taiwan, and continues to regularly send infantry, artillery, and armoured personnel there for training annually. There has been talk in recent years, however, of the possibility of moving some or all of these facilities to Hainan following an offer by the PRC, although this may not be taken up due to sensitivities in diplomatic relations between Singapore and its defence ally, USA.122123 On the issue of United Nations participation for Taiwan, there was a heated exchange of views between George Yeo and Mark Chen in 2004 between the two Foreign Ministers of the two countries.124 On the economic front, with Beijing's insistence that FTA can only be concluded among sovereign states, under a different name by the Ma Administration of ROC, Singapore and Taiwan signed the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP) on November 2013.125126

Swaziland

Taiwan has an embassy in Mbabane.

Vanuatu

Vanuatu currently recognises the People's Republic of China. In November 2004, Prime Minister Serge Vohor briefly established diplomatic relations with Taiwan, before being ousted for that reason in a vote of no confidence the following month.127128

Venezuela

In 2007 Venezuela decided not to renew visas for five members of the ROC commercial representation in Caracas.129 Relations with Venezuela have worsened because of the increasing partnership between the government of Venezuela and China.

Vietnam

ROC–Vietnam relations are conducted on an unofficial level, as Hanoi adheres to a one-China policy and officially recognises the People's Republic of China only. However, this has not stopped bilateral visits and significant flows of migrants and investment capital between the ROC and Vietnam.130 The ROC is an important Foreign Direct Investment partner to Vietnam.131

Vietnam is the only communist country that has an unofficial foreign relationship with the ROC.

Oceania

The ROC maintains diplomatic relations with six countries in Oceania: Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. China has relations with eight others (including Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Fiji). The Pacific is an area of intense and continuous diplomatic competition between Beijing and Taipei, with several countries (Nauru, Kiribati, Vanuatu) having switched diplomatic support from one to the other at least once. Both the PRC and the ROC provide development aid to their respective allies. In exchange, ROC allies support its membership bid in the United Nations. The ROC is one of tiny Tuvalu and Nauru's most important economic partners.

In May 2008, ROC Foreign Minister James Huang resigned, along with two other top officials of the out-going Chen Shui-bian Administration, after wasting over €19 million in a failed attempt to win diplomatic recognition for the ROC from Papua New Guinea. The misuse of the money caused public outrage, forcing Huang's resignation.132 Papua New Guinea's foreign minister Sam Abal subsequently confirmed that his country had no intention of recognising the ROC.133

In September 2006, the first regional summit of all Taiwan's Pacific Island allies took place, and was hosted by Palau, in Koror. The meeting brought together ROC President Chen Shui-bian and delegates from the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Kiribati.134 It was to become a regular event, known as the Taiwan-Pacific Allies Summit.135136 A second regional meeting was hosted by the Marshall Islands in October, and President Chen attended.137 This resulted in the Majuro Declaration, in which Taiwan's six Pacific allies re-stated their recognition of the ROC's sovereignty, and promised to support the ROC's attempts to join the United Nations.138

Also in June 2007, the ROC donated an aid package of € 700,000, distributed among eight Pacific regional organisations.139

In January 2008, following the victory of the Kuomintang in the ROC's elections, Kuomintang MP Yang Li-huan stated that under the new government Taiwan's interest in the Pacific could decrease.140 Three days later, however, it was confirmed that ROC Vice-President Annette Lu would lead a diplomatic visit to the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Solomon Islands.141

In March 2008, new President-elect Ma Ying-jeou was reported as saying that his government would put an end to Taiwanese "cheque-book diplomacy" in the Pacific.142 In May of that same year, Ma called for what he referred to as a "cease-fire" in the competition between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China for diplomatic allies. This followed a scandal due to allegations that Taiwan's Foreign Minister James Huang had attempted to buy Papua New Guinea's diplomatic allegiance.143 In October, Taiwan cancelled a scheduled summit between itself and its Pacific Island allies. Although the authorities cited "preparation problems", Radio Australia commented that "the decision appears to be an attempt by the new administration of President Ma Ying-jeou to keep the island's diplomatic activities low-profile and avoid offending China".144 Taiwanese authorities later stated that the summit had been "postponed" rather than cancelled.145 In June 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that President Ma would "attend a [...] leadership summit between Taiwan and its South Pacific allies" in autumn. The summit, hosted by Solomon Islands, would be attended by the "heads of state of Taiwan’s six allies in the region" and would focus on "countering the current economic contraction, climate change and how to strengthen the fisheries industry". Upon announcing the summit, the Ministry added that Ma had "developed a fondness for the Pacific region during his previous visit to Solomon Islands when he saw a handful of children at a market selling betel nuts and watermelons while wearing shirts donated by the people of Taiwan".146

In July 2009, the ROC donated over €40,000 in a scholarship scheme benefiting students from a number of Pacific countries, including those -such as Fiji or Papua New Guinea- which do not grant it diplomatic recognition. It also donated €288,000 for regional development assistance programmes, to be used notably on access to water, sanitation and hygiene, renewable energy, solar photovoltaic assessments, fisheries management, education and youth training.147

Taiwan has asked to be recognised as an official dialogue partner of the Pacific Islands Forum. That status is currently awarded to The PRC.148

Ma Ying-jeou, the President of the Republic of China is calling for what he referred to as a "cease-fire" in the competition between ROC and PRC for diplomatic allies.143 On 10 July 2013, New Zealand and Republic of China (Taiwan) signed a bilateral Economic Cooperation Agreement.149150

Australia

In February 2008, Australia reportedly "chastised Taiwan for its renewed push for independence" and "reiterated its support for a one-China policy".151 For Australia-Taiwan relations that Australia does not object Taiwan's participation in international organization where such consensus has already achieved, and Australia-Taiwan relations are commercially and unofficially-driven, such as the Australia-Taiwan Business Council, which is based in Sydney,152 and with the understanding of people-to-people contacts in areas of education, science, sports and arts, see.153154155156 Republic of China has an official, government co-sponsored branch office of Taiwan External Trade Development Council in Sydney.157 Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong is responsible for Visa and Citizenship matters for applicants in Taiwan.158

Kiribati

Kiribati, under the current government of President Anote Tong, recognises the Republic of China.

From 1980 to 2003, Kiribati recognised the PRC. Relations between China and Kiribati then became a contentious political issue within Kiribati. I-Kiribati President Teburoro Tito was ousted in a parliamentary vote of no confidence in 2003, over his refusal to clarify the details of a land lease which had enabled Beijing to maintain a satellite-tracking station in the country since 1997, and over Chinese ambassador Ma Shuxue's acknowledged monetary donation to "a cooperative society linked to Tito".159 In the ensuing election, Anote Tong won the presidency after "stirring suspicions that the station was being used to spy on US installations in the Pacific".160 Tong had previously pledged to "review" the lease.161

In November 2003, Tarawa established diplomatic relations with Taipei -a decision which The Age referred to as "play[ing] the Taiwan card"160-, and Beijing severed its relations with the country. For the PRC, the presence of the satellite-tracking station had made relations with Kiribati relatively important; the station had, in particular, been used to track Yang Liwei's spaceflight.162 Therefore, for three weeks the PRC called upon I-Kiribati President Anote Tong to break off relations with Taiwan and re-affirm his support for the "One China" policy. Only after those three weeks did the PRC sever relations,163 thereby losing the right to maintain its satellite-tracking base in Kiribati. The Republic of China began providing economic aid to Kiribati, while Kiribati began supporting Taiwan in the United Nations.

In 2004, President Tong said he believed the PRC was still trying to exert influence over his country.164 The comment was mainly due to the PRC's refusal to remove all its personnel from its closed embassy.162 Tong stated that the Chinese personnel, who remained in Kiribati against his wishes, were handing out anti-government pamphlets; he told New Zealand journalist Michael Field: "I am sure if we did this in Beijing we would be in jail in half a second".165 Tong's brother and main political opponent, Harry Tong, responded by accusing Taiwan of having too much influence on Kiribati, and notably of influencing the country's clergy.164

In 2008, Taiwan settled Kiribati's unpaid bills to Air Pacific, enabling the airline to maintain its services from Tarawa to Kiritimati.166

In November 2010, despite their lack of diplomatic relations, the People's Republic of China was one of fifteen countries to attend the Tarawa Climate Change Conference in Kiribati, and one of twelve to sign the Ambo Declaration on climate change issued from the conference.167

Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands recognise the Republic of China, and is one of the few countries to maintain an embassy in Taipei. The magazine Islands Business reported that President Litokwa Tomeing, elected in January 2008, might break off his country's diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and turn instead to the PRC.168 However, in office Tomeing expressed continued support for ties with Taiwan and met with the Vice President of the ROC, Annette Lu, when she visited the Marshall Islands on 29 January 2008.169

Nauru

Nauru, under the current government of President Marcus Stephen, recognises the Republic of China.

In 1980, Nauru first established official relations with the Republic of China. In 2002, however, the government of Rene Harris established relations with the PRC,170 which entailed a solemn recognition of the "One China" policy by Nauru.171 Consequently, Taiwan severed its relations with Nauru, and accused the PRC of having bought Nauru's allegiance with a financial aid gift of over €90,000,000.172 A reporter for The Age agreed, stating that "Beijing recently bought off a threat by Nauru to revert to Taiwan only six months after opening ties with the mainland, offering a large loan to Nauru's near-destitute Government".160

In 2003, however, Nauru closed its newly established embassy in Beijing. Two years later, ROC President Chen Shui-bian met Nauruan President Ludwig Scotty in the Marshall Islands. In May 2005, the ROC and Nauru re-established diplomatic relations,173 and opened embassies in each other's capitals. The PRC consequently severed its relations with Nauru.

The Republic of China is one of Nauru's two foremost economic aid partners (the other being Australia). In return, Nauru uses its seat in the United Nations to support the ROC's admittance bid. Taiwan also provides regular medical assistance to Nauru, sending specialised doctors to the tiny country's only hospital.174

In 2007, Scotty was re-elected President of Nauru, amidst claims that his electoral campaign had been funded by Taiwan.175 Scotty's opponents claimed that the ROC wanted to ensure that a pro-Taiwan government remained in power. Scotty was replaced by Marcus Stephen in December 2007. Following Stephen's election, ROC President Chen Shui-bian telephoned him to congratulate him, assure him of the ROC's continued assistance for Nauru, request Nauru's continued support in return, and invite him to visit Taiwan.176 Nauru has retained its relations with the ROC under the new government.

Given that it has already changed its foreign policy twice, Nauru remains the focus of diplomatic competition between Beijing and Taipei. In 2006, according to the New Statesman, President Scotty "was allegedly accosted by a horde of screaming Chinese officials who tried to drag him on to a plane to Beijing just as he was boarding one bound for Taipei".177

In 2008, Nauru co-submitted a proposal to the United Nations, requesting that the United Nations General Assembly consider enabling "Taiwan's participation in the activities of UN specialized agencies". The proposal was rejected.178

In 2011 it was revealed via Wikileaks that Taiwan had been paying a "monthly stipend" to Nauruan government ministers in exchange for their continued support, as well as a smaller sum to other Members of Parliament, as "project funding that requires minimal accounting". Reporting on the story, the Brisbane Times wrote: "One MP reportedly used his Taiwanese stipend to buy daily breakfast for all schoolchildren in his district, while others were happy to just pocket the cash". A "former Australian diplomat with close knowledge of politics in Nauru" stated that Nauruan President Marcus Stephen, Foreign Minister Kieren Keke and former President Ludwig Scotty, among others, had all accepted "under the counter" funding from Taiwan. The leaks revealed that "Chinese [PRC] agents had also sought to influence Nauru's elections through cash payments to voters, with at least $40,000 distributed in one instance in 2007".179

Wikileaks also revealed that Australia had, at one time, been "pushing" Nauru to break its relations with Taiwan and establish relations with the PRC instead. Then President Ludwig Scotty had reportedly resisted on the grounds that it was "none of Australia's business".179

In late 2011, Taiwan "doubled it health aid" to Nauru, notably providing a resident medical team on a five-year appointment.180

Palau

Palau recognises the Republic of China, and is one of the few countries to maintain an embassy in Taipei. The ROC provides scholarships to Palauan students, as well as computers for Palauan schools. In 2008, Mario Katosang, Palau’s Minister of Education, stated:

"We were given 100 Windows-based computers by Taiwan. The education sector uses predominately Apple Macintosh computers, so I mentioned that we may also need software. Taiwan immediately delivered 100 brand new copies of Windows XP, and offered to train our computer technicians."181

Papua New Guinea

In 1999, the government of Prime Minister Bill Skate recognised Taiwan. Skate lost power less than a week later, and Papua New Guinea's diplomatic recognition reverted to China.182

In 2005, Papua New Guinea, along with Fiji, supported Taiwan's wish to join the World Health Organization.

In May 2008, Taiwan's Foreign Minister James Huang resigned, along with two other top officials, after wasting over €19 million in a failed attempt to win diplomatic recognition for the Republic of China from Papua New Guinea. The misuse of the money caused public outrage, forcing Huang's resignation.183 Papua New Guinea's foreign minister Sam Abal subsequently confirmed that his country had no intention of recognising Taiwan.133

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands recognises the Republic of China, and is one of the few countries to maintain an embassy in Taipei. The two countries established diplomatic relations on 23 May 1983.184 A Republic of China consulate general was set up in Honiara, and upgraded to an embassy two years later.185 Since 2011, the Republic of China's ambassador to the Solomons is Laurie Chan, a Solomon Islands national of Chinese ethnic background, and a former Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs who supported his country's continued relations with Taiwan.186

Despite a lack of diplomatic recognition, however, Solomon Islands trades more with the People's Republic than with Taiwan. In 2009, over half the country's exports went to the People's Republic of China, and Solomon Islands maintained a trade surplus of A$161m in its trade relations with that country. In 2010, that surplus increased to a record A$258.187

In 2006, Honiara's Chinatown suffered extensive damage as it was looted and burned by rioters, following a contested election result. It had been alleged that ethnic Chinese businessmen had bribed members of Solomon Islands' Parliament.188 Joses Tuhanuku, President of the Solomon Islands Labour Party, stated that the election "has been corrupted by Taiwan and business houses owned by Solomon Islanders of Chinese origin".189 Many Chinese-Solomon Islanders left the country.

After pro-Taiwan Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was ousted in a vote of no confidence in December 2007, and replaced by Derek Sikua, ROC President Chen Shui-bian telephoned Prime Minister Sikua, offering his congratulations and Taiwan's continued aid, and requested the Sikua government's continued diplomatic support. Chen also invited Sikua to visit Taiwan,176 which he did in March 2008. Sikua was welcomed with military honours by Chen, who stated: "Taiwan is the Solomon Islands' most loyal ally. [...] Taiwan will never forsake the people or government of the Solomon Islands."190 Solomon Islands has continued to recognise the Republic of China under Sikua's leadership.

Later that same month, Taiwan's president-elect Dr. Ma Ying-Jeou met Australia's former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, and reportedly promised to put an end to Taiwanese "cheque book diplomacy" in the Solomons. This led Downer to comment: "Under the Chen Shui-bian regime there has been a lot of Taiwanese cheque book diplomacy in Solomon Islands. So I'm glad to hear that's coming to an end."191 Sikua, however, criticised Downer for interfering in relations between Honiara and Taipei:

“The Government of Solomon Islands will continue to work closely with the Government of Taiwan and other development partners as it strives to provide a better quality of life for its people. I hope that Mr Downer will find something more appropriate to comment on than on issues that are within the sovereign jurisdiction of independent states and governments to deal with and decide on.”192

The editor of the Solomon Star reacted irritably to Downer's comments:

"Just when we thought he’s gone and good riddance, he’s back. Alexander Downer is now in Taipei and telling the Taiwanese how to run their relations with the Solomon Islands. [...] Just who does Mr Downer think he is? [...] Relations between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands are none of this yesterday man’s business. Taipei should tell Mr Downer to butt out."193

The Taiwanese government subsequently stated, through its deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Victor Yu, that Downer had "misunderstood" Ma:

"Cooperation and development programs are an obligation and the responsibility of every advanced nation in the international community. They should not be described as 'checkbook diplomacy'. [...] All the resources that the nation has contributed are project-oriented and have generated substantial positive effects on the local economy and on society. Downer distorted what Ma actually meant."194

On 17 April 2008, the editorial of the Solomon Star was devoted to the Solomons' relationship with Taiwan, which it described as follows:

"First, thanks to Taiwan, for all the support it is providing to help bring better health services here. There’s always suspicion about Taiwan’s aid in this country despite the fine sounding intentions under which it is given. [...] Our politicians undoubtedly exploit Taiwan’s need to keep Solomon Islands as one of the nations recognising it as a country in its own right. But there should be no doubts about this week’s launch of the Taiwan Medical Centre at the National Referral Hospital. This is tangible, beneficial and transparent help. It underscores Taiwan’s role as a true, democratic friend of Solomon Islands. May there be more such help given this way."195

In July, it was announced that Taiwanese doctors would be providing free medical care to Solomon Islands villagers,196 and that unskilled Solomon Islands workers would be granted access to the Taiwanese labour market.197 At the same time, Taiwan was funding rural development projects in the Solomons.198 Taiwan has also pledged to provide SI$ 10 million to Solomon Islands in 2009 and 2010, to enable the government to abolish school fees paid by parents and provide free primary and secondary education to Solomon Islands children.199

During the campaign for the 2010 general election, candidate and former Prime Minister Francis Billy Hilly announced that, if elected, he would break off relations with the ROC and establish them with the PRC. Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, of the University of Hawaii, commented that Taiwan funded constituency development programmes in the Solomons, and that Members of Parliament were thus unlikely to support any severing of diplomatic relations with the ROC.200 Billy Hilly was unsuccessful in regaining a seat in Parliament.

Tuvalu

Tuvalu recognises the Republic of China (RoC). Taiwan maintains the only resident foreign embassy in Tuvalu. This is located in Funafuti.

Tuvalu supports the RoC's bid to join the United Nations, and Taiwan has provided Tuvalu with "several mobile medical missions".201

In 2006, Taiwan reacted to reports that the People's Republic of China was attempting to draw Tuvalu away from the Republic of China. Taiwan consequently strengthened its weakening diplomatic relations with Tuvalu.202

Relations with Europe

The European Union has earnestly emphasized Human Rights in its relations with ROC.203 European Union is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment to Taiwan.204205 The European Union has unofficial relations206 with Taiwan through European Economic and Trade Office. Taipei is one of the major trading partners with European Free Trade Association,207 and in sum a potential trading partner with the Eurozone.208 The European Parliament voted 559 votes to 40 with 13 abstentions and approved that Taiwanese passport holders with identity card number are exempted and do not require Schengen visa whilst visiting the Schengen Area on 11 November 2010 with similar Schengen granting to Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, and reciprocally the ROC exempted visa for individuals from the Schengen Area.209210211 For the debate concerning EU-Taiwan relations in the European Parliament, see.212 Currently, there are 16 member states of the European Union that have established offices in Taipei, as well as several functional offices established by different member states.213 Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium is the unofficial diplomatic representation of Taiwan in the EU.214 British relations with Taiwan 215 with the formality of British Trade and Cultural Office 216 and the British Council in Taipei of United Kingdom are represented in Republic of China. Chinese Taipei is an observer 217218219 in the OECD, which is headquartered in Paris, France.

Relation with International organizations

Flag of Chinese Taipei in the official Olympics games

Under Chinese pressure, the ROC has been excluded from, or downgraded in, many international organizations. In other cases, ROC may retain full participation, due to the usage of names such as "Chinese Taipei" or "Taiwan, China".

Below is a list of such international organizations and the names by which Taiwan is known:

International treaties

Taiwan has been a party to several major international treaties, including:

Territorial disputes

Territorial disputes of the Republic of China.

Republic of China (ROC) claims to be the sole legitimate government of China.citation needed Accordingly, it claims all territories currently administered by the People's Republic of China and Mongolia, which includes Mainland China,citation needed and Outer Mongolia. As part of the same claim, ROC also claims some surrounding areas which it says were historically part of Chinese territory, including South Tibet, an eastern part of Bhutan, the Russian-administered part of Heixiazi Island, a northern part of Burma, part of the Pamir Mountains, Sixty-Four Villages East of the Heilongjiang River and Tannu Uriankhai. However, ROC does not actively pursue these claims.citation needed

ROC also claims islands in the South China Sea on the same basis as its claim to historical Chinese territory. Unlike its claims on the Asian mainland, however, ROC actively pursues and defends some of its claims to these islands. These include all of the Spratly Islands, the Paracel Islands, Macclesfield Bank and Scarborough Shoal. These islands are administered by a number of governments around the South China Sea. ROC also claims the Senkaku Islands, currently administered by Japan.

The People's Republic of China, in turn, asserts itself as the sole legitimate government of China, and claims all territories administered by ROC.

Transport and communications

Air links

Old style of China Airlines aircraft, bearing the ROC flag.

The dispute over Taiwan's status has also affected the island's air links with the outside world, particularly Europe, North America and Australia. For many years, Mandarin Airlines, a subsidiary of Taiwan's national airline, China Airlines (CAL), served many international destinations that CAL did not, owing to political sensitivities. However, in 1995 CAL dropped the national colours from its livery, and now flies to international destinations under its own name.

Many countries' national airlines similarly set up special subsidiaries to operate services to Taipei, with a different name, and livery omitting national symbols. For example, British Airways' now defunct subsidiary, British Asia Airways, operated flights to London, KLM's subsidiary, KLM Asia, operated flights to Amsterdam, and Swissair's subsidiary, Swissair Asia, operated flights to Zurich, while other countries' flag carriers, such as Germany's Lufthansa, operated flights to Taipei using an existing subsidiary (in Lufthansa's case, Condor). Qantas had a subsidiary called Australia Asia Airlines, which flew between Sydney and Taipei, but now operates flights to the island as a code share with EVA Air.

Japan Air Lines established a subsidiary called Japan Asia Airways to operate flights to Tokyo. Before the completion of the second runway at New Tokyo International Airport (now Narita International Airport) near Tokyo, Japan, airlines from Taiwan were required to fly to Tokyo International Airport (commonly known as Haneda Airport) in Ota, Tokyo in order not to offend the airlines from the People's Republic of China that flew to Narita.

As of July 2008, charter flights between mainland China and Taiwan, which were traditionally only allowed on special holidays such as Chinese New Year, were expanded greatly. Under current plans, the opening of these flights may eventually reach a capacity of 3,000 mainland Chinese tourists per day entering Taiwan.

Telecommunications

International dialing codes are assigned by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to its member states and their dependencies. However, as ROC was not an ITU member state, it had to be allocated the code 886 unofficially, with the ITU listing the code as 'reserved'. Until the late 1970s, ROC used the code 86, but the code was reassigned to the People's Republic of China in conformity with ITU's official membership, forcing ROC to utilize another code for countries that wished to maintain direct dial connections.

PRC has reserved part of its numbering plan for calls to Taiwan, using the prefix 06. But despite this, calls from Mainland China to Taiwan are still currently made by using the international dialing code +886.

See also

References

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