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Diplomatic relations between world states and the Republic of China today
  Countries recognizing PRC only, having no relation with ROC
  Countries recognizing PRC only, but keeping an informal relation,
or setted the de facto embassy mutually with MFA of ROC
or legislated significant series of laws
  Countries recognizing Government of ROC only
Building of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Taipei.
Joseph Wu, the incumbent Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The foreign relations of the Republic of China (ROC), referred to by many states as Taiwan,[1][2] are the relations between the ROC and other countries. The ROC is recognized by 16 out of 193 United Nations member states, as well as the Holy See. These diplomatic relations do not constitute an international acceptance of Taiwan as a state, but rather represent a recognition of the ROC government as the representative of China.[3] In addition to these relations, the ROC maintains unofficial relations[4] with 57 UN member states via its representative offices and consulates. ROC passport has 124 countries and Hong Kong [5] (ranking 33rd in the world) reciprocally exchange Visa exemption agreements as of 2018.[6]

The ROC government participated in the 1943 Moscow Conference, the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, and the United Nations Conference on International Organization and was a charter member of the United Nations after participating in the alliance that won World War II. In 1949, the Nationalists lost the Chinese Civil War in mainland China and retreated to Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, forming a rump state. 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). In addition to the ad tempus recognition of the ROC by a majority of countries before UN Resolution 2758, the ROC lost its membership in all the intergovernmental organizations related to the UN. As the UN and related organizations like the International Court of Justice are the most common venues for effective execution of international law and serve as the international community for states, a majority of the countries aligned with the West in the Cold War terminated diplomatic relations with the ROC and opened diplomatic relations with the PRC.

The United Nations Charter's Articles 23 and 110, in its Chapter II, explicitly refer to the ROC, but the seat of China is currently occupied by the PRC. The ROC continues to maintain de facto relations,[7][8] including with most of the non-governmental organizations[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] at the United Nations, in addition with the concern from UNESCO.[16] The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations was signed and ratified by the ROC on 18 April 1961 and 19 December 1969,[17] including Optional Protocol concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes.[18] It is entitled by the founding of the United Nations as the cornerstone of modern-day diplomacy since the Vienna Congress, Article 35 of 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties also applies to the ROC since 1971.[19] Due to the ROC's insecurity and intolerance in the 1970s and 1980s after it was expelled by the UN as well as American influence,[20] the ROC gradually democratized and adopted universal suffrage, ending under the dictatorial leadership of President Chiang Ching-kuo.

The first direct presidential election was held in 1996 and the incumbent President Lee Teng-hui was elected. As of 4 May 2015, ROC nationals are eligible for preferential visa treatment from 142 countries and areas.[21] In the context of superpower and influential diplomacy, the ROC's traditional and stable allies includes United States of America, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.[22] The ROC's cultural diplomacy includes the establishment of the Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies in 2012 in major universities around the world.

The ROC is one of the main supporters of official development assistance[23] with the International Cooperation and Development Fund managing ROC's Foreign Assistance and International Cooperation projects.[24][25] 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 Taiwanese–U.S. cooperative military guidance[26][27][28] in the annual Han Kuang joint-force exercises.[29]

The Common Strategic Objectives of Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee of 2005 and 2011 (and reiterated in 2013) included to encourage:

  • Peaceful resolution of issues concerning the Taiwan Strait through dialogue
  • China’s responsible and constructive role in regional stability and prosperity,
  • China's cooperation on global issues,
  • China's adherence to international norms of behavior, while building trust among the United States, Japan, and China
  • Openness and transparency with respect to China’s military modernization and activities
  • Strengthen confidence-building measures, with China's rapid expanding military investments.[30][31][32]

The ROC's GDP is ahead of several G20 economies.[33] In the context of the international norm of tabula rasa, the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains 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 the ex factis jus oritur[34] principle and a priori and a posteriori of the ROC, to participate in international organizations as defined by international norms and the Union of International Associations.[35][36][37]

As a non-member state of the United Nations, by participating as members in one or more UN specialized agencies[38] and operating in a parallel political system with the Chinese Communist Party[39] as in the case of Germany and Korea, ROC may be granted a Permanent Observer status in organizations such as the IMF and World Bank.[40][41]

Involvement and participation in the Asia Pacific Innovation Conference allows interaction with the Director of Economics and Statistics Division of WIPO, who directly reports to the Director-General.[42][43]

Due to "the absence of a cross-strait understanding" (1992 consensus), ROC encounters international isolation under the pro-Taiwan independence administration of the Democratic Progressive Party and is hence forbidden to attend World Health Assembly, Interpol, International Civil Aviation Organization, United Nation's Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, possible international measures against the activities of Chinese Taipei Olymic Committee (CTOC), Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards (boycotted), ban on Taiwan's journalist to acquire pass to United Nations and as well as UNFCCC meetings.[44][45][46][47][48][49]

ROC's (multi-sector) civil society currently participates in 11 projects of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.[50] ROC ranks 31st of 176 countries and territories in the 2016 Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index[51] and is placed in Band B of the Government Defense Corruption Index.[52]


International disputesEdit

The vote in the UN General Assembly on Resolution 2758 (1971).
Green = in favour, Red = against, Blue = abstain, Yellow = non-voting

In the 1970s many countries switched diplomatic recognition from the ROC to the PRC, including the United States, Japan and Canada. In October 1971, Resolution 2758 was passed by the UN General Assembly, expelling "the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek" and transferring China's seat on the Security Council to the PRC. The resolution declared that "the representatives of the Government of the PRC are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations." However, the eo ipso nature of Taiwan and weapons of mass destruction remained a contentious issue.[clarification needed]

Many attempts by the ROC to rejoin the UN have not made it past committee, under fierce PRC opposition and threatened vetoes. President Chen Shui-bian argued 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 could be created to represent the 23 million people residing in the Taiwanese mainland and other islands. The argument, however, has not been accepted by the UN, because the issue of Taiwan independence was not raised in UN.

Since the 1970s, the PRC and ROC have competed for diplomatic recognition from nations across the world, often by offering financial aid to poorer countries as an inducement.[53][54] As a precondition for diplomatic relations, the PRC requires that the other country renounce any recognition of the ROC. Since the introduction of the "pragmatic diplomacy" (務實外交 Wùshí wàijiāo) policy in 1991, the ROC has not insisted on consideration as the sole representative of China, and does not require nations that recognize it to end their relations with the PRC.[55] For example, when St Lucia recognized the ROC in 2007, its leader expressed his hope that St Lucia's relations with the PRC would continue.[56] However, the PRC responds to recognitions of the ROC by suspending relations with the other country.[55] 16 UN member states and the Holy See officially recognized the ROC.

On less official terms, the ROC 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 the ROC. The ROC government also claims the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, which are called the Diaoyu Islands in Taiwan and China.

Types of relationsEdit

Full diplomatic relationsEdit

Foreign relations of the ROC
  diplomatic relations
  non-diplomatic unofficial relations

The Republic of China recognizes all UN member states, with the exception of the PRC, the territory of which it regards as its own, and North Korea, as it recognizes the Republic of Korea as the representative of Korea. Of the two UN observer states, the ROC recognizes the Holy See, with which it has relations, but not the State of Palestine. However, Taiwan does recognize the State of Kosovo and Sovereign Military Order of Malta, neither of which are UN member states nor UN observer states.

Nevertheless, only 17 states recognize the ROC and have diplomatic relations with it. In the following list, the dates indicate establishment or duration of relations. Among them, only Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has not established an embassy in Taipei.[57][58]

Africa (1 state)

Europe (1 state)

Oceania (6 states)

Caribbean (4 states)

Central America (4 states)

South America (1 state)

Due to the limited size of Vatican City, all embassies accredited to the Holy See are located in Rome, outside the borders of Vatican City. Hence, the ROC's embassy to the Holy See is located in a country that does not officially recognize, but still maintains close unofficial links with, the ROC.
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.

Non-diplomatic representationEdit

The ROC has non-diplomatic, unofficial governmental relations with the European Union and at least 47 states, recognizing the PRC, 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.

For example, the American Institute in Taiwan functions as the United States' de facto embassy with the chairman and staff acting as unofficial government consulate officers who nevertheless perform duties that official embassies would undertake. Ireland does not maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan and the Taipei Representative Office in Dublin has no diplomatic or political status, referring to UN Resolution 2758.[60]

Oceania (3 states)

Asia (12 states and 2 territories)

Middle East (5 states)

Africa (2 states)

Europe (18 states)

North America (3 states)

South America (4 states)

No representationEdit

The following states recognize Beijing and have no representation in Taiwan (including any non-political, non-diplomatic, non-intergovernmental representation):

Relations with neither ROC nor PRCEdit

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

Name Recognized by the ROC Notes
  Abkhazia No Currently recognised by 5 UN member states and three UN non-member states. Claimed by Georgia.
  Artsakh No
  Bhutan Yes A UN member state
  Kosovo Yes Currently recognised by 107 UN members, the Republic of China, the Cook Islands, Niue, and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Claimed by Serbia.
  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic No[62] Currently recognised by 46 UN member states and South Ossetia. Claimed by Morocco.
  Somaliland No
  South Ossetia No Currently recognised by 5 UN member states and four UN non-member states. Claimed by Georgia.
  Sovereign Military Order of Malta Yes[63] A sovereign entity without territory, established diplomatic relations with 107 states.
  Transnistria No
  Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus No[64] Recognized by Turkey.

Recognition switched from the ROC to the PRCEdit

Former French Embassy to the ROC in Nanjing
Former Mexican Embassy to the ROC in Nanjing
Former Soviet Union Embassy to the ROC in Nanjing
Former United Kingdom Embassy to the ROC in Nanjing
Former United States Embassy to the ROC in Nanjing

The ROC has publicly feared that if any one state should switch its recognition to the PRC, it would create a domino effect, encouraging other states to do so as well.[65] The Holy See (Vatican), the only European state that recognizes the ROC as the representative of China, made efforts in 2007 to create formal ties with the PRC.[66] High-ranking bishops in the Catholic Church have implied that such a diplomatic move was possible,[67] predicated on the PRC's granting more freedom of religion[68] and interfering less in the hierarchy of the Chinese Catholic Church.[69]

Entity Period of recognition of the Republic of China
  Afghanistan to 1955
  Albania to 1949
  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 1947 to 1949
  Burkina Faso 1961 to 1973, 1994 to 2018
  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 2006
  Chile 1931 to 1970
  Colombia 1941 to 1980[70]
  Congo-Brazzaville 1960 to 1964
  DR Congo 1960 to 1961, 1961 to 1972[71]
  Costa Rica 1944 to 2007[72]
  Cuba 1929 to 1960
  Czechoslovakia 1931 to 1949
  Dahomey 1960 to 1964, 1966 to 1972
  Denmark 1928 to 1950
  Dominica 1983 to 2004
  Dominican Republic 1941 to 2018[73]
  Ecuador 1947 to 1980
  Egypt to 1956
  El Salvador 1961 to 2018[74]
  Equatorial Guinea to 1970
  Estonia 1921 to 1940
  Finland 1919 to 1944[75]
  France 1928 to 1964
  Gabon 1960 to 1974
  Gambia 1968 to 1974, 1995 to 2013
  Germany (Federal Rep.) 1955 to 1972
  Greece 1947 to 1972
  Grenada 1989 to 2005
  Guinea to 1959
  Guinea-Bissau 1990 to 1998
  Hungary to 1949
  Iceland to 1971
  India 1947 to 1950
  Indonesia 1945 to 1950
  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
  Latvia 1923 to 1940
  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
  Lithuania 1923 to 1940
  Luxembourg 1949 to 1972
  Macedonia 1999 to 2001
  Madagascar to 1972
  Malawi 1966 to 2008[76]
  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
  Niger 1963 to 1974, 1992 to 1996
  Nigeria 1960 to 1971
  Norway 1928 to 1950
  Pakistan 1947 to 1951
  Panama 1912 to 2017[77]
  Peru 1931 to 1971
  Philippines 1948 to 1975
  Poland 1930 to 1949
  Portugal 1928 to 1975
  Papua New Guinea 5 August 1999 to 21 August 1999
  Romania 1939 to 1949
  San Marino to 1971
  São Tomé and Príncipe 1997 to 2016[78]
  Saudi Arabia 1946 to 1990
  Senegal 1969 to 1972, 1996 to 2005
  Sierra Leone to 1971
  South Africa 1976 to 1998[79]
  Spain 1928 to 1973
  Soviet Union 1929 to 1949
  South Korea 1949 to 1992
  South Vietnam 1955 to 1975[80]
  Sudan 1956 to 1959
  Sri Lanka 1948 to 1950
  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 1971[81]
  Uganda to 1962
  United Arab Emirates 1973 to 1984
  United Kingdom 1928 to 1950
  United States 1928 to 1979
  Uruguay 1958 to 1988[82]
  Vanuatu 3 November 2004 to 10 November 2004[83]
  Venezuela 1944 to 1974
  Yemen to 1956
  Yugoslavia 1945 to 1955

Entities that have never recognized the ROC but do recognize the PRCEdit

Country Year recognized the PRC
  Algeria 1962
  Andorra 1994
  Angola 1983
  Antigua and Barbuda 1983
  Armenia 1992
  Azerbaijan 1992
  Bahrain 1989
  Bangladesh 1975
  Barbados 1977
  Belarus 1992
  Bosnia-Herzegovina 1995
  Brunei 1991
  Burundi 1963
  Cambodia 1958
  Cape Verde 1976
  Comoros 1975
  Cook Islands 1997
  Croatia 1992
  Cyprus 1971
  Djibouti 1979
  East Germany 1949
  Eritrea 1993
  Estonia 1991
  Ethiopia 1970 [84]
  Fiji 1975
  Georgia 1992
  Ghana 1960
  Grenada 1985 [85]
  Guyana 1972
  Ireland 1979
  Kazakhstan 1992
  Kenya 1963
  Kyrgyzstan 1992
  Latvia 1991
  Lithuania 1991
  Macedonia 1993 [86]
  Maldives 1972
  Mali 1960
  Malta 1972
  Mauritania 1965
  Mauritius 1972
  Micronesia 1989
  Moldova 1992
  Montenegro 2006
  Mozambique 1975
  Namibia 1990
  Niue 2007
  North Korea 1949
  Oman 1978
  Palestine 1988
  Papua New Guinea 1976
  Qatar 1988
  Rwanda 1971 [87]
  Samoa 1975
  Senegal 1971 [88]
  Seychelles 1976
  Singapore 1990 [89]
  Slovenia 1992
  Somalia 1960
  South Sudan 2011
  South Yemen 1968
  Suriname 1976
  Tajikistan 1992
  Tanzania 1964
  Timor-Leste 2002
  Trinidad and Tobago 1974
  Tunisia 1964
  Turkmenistan 1992
  Ukraine 1992
  Uzbekistan 1992
  Vietnam 1950
  Zambia 1964
  Zimbabwe 1980 [90]


A series of maps that illustrate the struggle between China and Taiwan for international recognition

Taiwan was annexed 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.[91] The Japanese occupied much of China during World War II. After Japan's defeat in 1945, Taiwan was placed under the administration of the ROC, followed by a civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists. The Communists gained control of the mainland in 1949 and proclaimed the People's ROC, while the Nationalists fled to Taiwan, eventually forming the ROC. 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.[92] Winston explained that only a few official reports from the Chinese government aside from the maritime customs sector had appeared at that point, and that the government of the ROC was "too poor, perhaps still too secretive, to make regular and full publication of statistics."[92]

In September 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs planned to disband fewer than 10 of its embassies to allocate for a "new southbound policy".[93]

Since 1990, ROC has witnessed a net of 10 countries switch recognition to PRC.

Number of countries recognizing ROC and PRC
Year Recognition of ROC[94] Recognition of PRC
1969 71 48
1971 68 53
1973 31 89
1978 21 112
1986 23 134
1990 28 139
2012 23 172
2013 22 172
2016 21 174
2017 20 175
2018 17 178[95]

Cross-Strait relationsEdit

The Double Tenth Agreement signed on 10 October 1945 is the only legal document between the two parties. The following Political Consultative Conference [zh-tw],[96] was engulfed by Cold War history and the American foreign policy of containment in East Asia after the Korean War.[97] Before the Korean War broke out, the US was preparing for a coup d'état in mid-1950 to replace Chiang Kai-shek with Hu Shih and Sun Li-jen and neutralize the ROC's legal status under UN Trusteeship to block any legal claim of the PRC on Taiwan, as proposed by United States Department of State official Dean Rusk.[98][99][100] The Formosa Resolution of 1955[101] was passed unanimously by the United States Congress. Resolving the cross-Strait relationship required both sides to rethink definitions of basic concepts such as sovereignty, "one China" and unification.[102]

The two polities of accession[103] resulted in the PRC's Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries, the lifting of its martial law[104] on PRC territory, and more recently the enactment of the PRC's Anti-Secession Law towards the ROC. The two sides have no 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".[105][106] Nuclear tensions have risen since the PRC promulgated the Anti-Secession Law.[107][108][109][110]

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 among the people of 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 ROC. Former president Lee Tung-hui described these relations as "Special State-to-State Relations".[111] The Chen administrations described Taiwan and China by saying "...with Taiwan and China on each side of the Taiwan Strait, each side is a country.". Former President Ma Ying-jeou 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 ROC, and due to constitutional reasons, neither Taipei nor Beijing recognizes each other as a legitimate government.[112][113][114]

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 ROC 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 instrument 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 automatically apply to those territories.

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), privately constituted bodies that are controlled and directly answerable to the executive branches 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 crossing the strait. They and Singapore served as venues for talks between the two sides at that time. One modus vivendi outcome of such talks was the 1992 Consensus, arising from a 1992 meeting in Hong Kong. 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 recognizing certifications authenticated by the other side.[115]

Relations between Taipei and Beijing warmed during the Ma government with the promotion of cross-strait links and increased economic and social interchanges between the two sides, but the 2014 local elections cooled them again.[116] A 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.[117] The thawed tensions were not welcomed by the Pan-Green Coalition for the Taiwan independence movement after the 2000 presidential election and to the ex injuria jus non oritur basis[118] of the Anti-Secession Law. A meeting was held on 7 November 2015 between Presidents Xi and Ma to affirm the 1992 Consensus before the ROC 2016 general election and in the midst of U.S. Navy tests of area sea claims.[119] Beijing said it had cut off contact with the main Taiwan liaison body because of President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation.[120]

Bilateral relationsEdit


Bangladesh has had limited bilateral exchanges with the ROC since it declared independence in 1971. Bangladesh is the ROC's second largest South Asian trading partner in spite of a global slump. Bangladesh mainly exports garments, knitwear, jutes, leathers and handicrafts to the ROC and imports an assortment of textiles, machines, electronics, steels, plastics.

Republic of KoreaEdit

The ROC recognized the formal establishment of the First Republic of Korea in 1948. On 4 January 1949, the ROC set up an embassy in Myeongdong in Seoul. The ROC considers the ROK government as the sole legitimate representative of the Korean Peninsula. On 23 August 1992 South Korea severed diplomatic relations with the ROC and then established diplomatic relations with the PRC as part of its Nordpolitik, the last Asian country to switch .[121]

Democratic People's Republic of KoreaEdit

The ROC does not recognize the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as a state.

ROC Premier Lai Ching-te approved a total ban on trade between the ROC and North Korea in September 2017.[122] Taiwanese businessmen have been accused of selling coal, oil and gas to North Korea, as well as importing North Korean textiles and employing North Koreans in Taiwanese fishing vessels.[122]

United StatesEdit

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President Chiang Kai-shek of ROC in Taiwan. 1960.
Chiang Kai-shek and Eisenhower wave to crowd during visit to Taiwan in June 1960.

The ROC and the US signed a formal treaty of commerce and navigation in 1948.[123] ROC passport holders can thus be granted an E1 and E2 Visa, with indefinite renewal status, based on continued operation of their enterprise[124] in the US.[125] In 1979 the US recognized the PRC instead of ROC.[126] Commercial[127] (such as Trade and Investment Framework Agreement signed in 1994,[128] TIFA[129][130][131][132]), cultural and other substantial relations are currently governed, inter alia, by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. The Act does not recognize the terminology of "Republic of China". The United States of America does not support Taiwan independence.[133]

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alex Wong officially[134] visited the ROC in March 2018 to protest the amendment of the PRC Constitution that removed Presidential tenure restrictions.[135] In July 2002, Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan became the first Taiwanese government official to be invited to visit the White House after the switch.

While the US acknowledged PRC's One China Policy, it did not accept the PRC's claim on Taiwan.[136][137][138] The unofficial name "Taiwan" was mentioned in the Three Communiqués between the United States and China. Consistent with the United States' One China policy, raising the ROC flag on US soil is not approved by the US.[139][140]

Taiwanese passport holders are included in the US Visa Waiver Program for a stay of 90 days.[141]

After 1979, the US-Taiwan Business Council continued to facilitate commercial activity (mostly semiconductor technology related) and arms sales service.[142][143][144] The United States House of Representatives added an amendment to the fiscal year 2016 US defense budget that includes a clause urging the ROC's participation in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.[145] The United States State Department has close bilateral cooperation with the ROC through Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Fulbright Program.[146][147][148]

Recent disputes between the US and the ROC include the ROC's ban on the import of US beef and US pork, which was resolved after the ROC adopted the new standard of a maximum residue limit for ractopamine in both beef and pork.[149]

President Tsai Ing-wen meets with U.S. Senate delegation led by John McCain, June 2016

In 2007, a measure was introduced into the United States Congress that would dramatically strengthen US ties with the ROC.[150] The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the lifting of curbs on visits by high-ranking or top ROC officials. The Resolution noted that "whenever high-level visitors from the ROC, including the President, seek to come to the United States, their requests result in a period of complex, lengthy and humiliating negotiations." It further 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."[151]

A bill was introduced to back the ROC's request to join the UN. The bill stated that the ROC 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. The move was led by New Jersey Representative Scott Garrett.[152]

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., 12 other U.S. cities and many other countries without official ties. The US' analogous organization is the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). As of 2010, officials of the ROC had made quasi-official level US visits at a governmental and political level.[29][153]


On 31 March 2004, Dominica ended its recognition, which began in 1983, because of PRC offers to provide $117 million over six years.[154]

On 18 March 2014, Guatemala's former president Alfonso Portillo pled guilty in the Federal District Court in Manhattan to a charge that he accepted bribes in exchange for recognizing the ROC. President Pérez Molina said that Guatemala's relations with the ROC were and are strong and that the Portillo confession would not affect diplomatic relations between the two nations.[155] Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined comment.[156]


On 13 June 2017, the government of Panama switched, breaking all ties with the ROC. Panamanians studying in Taiwan were given the choice of returning to Panama within 30 days or continuing their studies in China. Panama was motivated by promises of multi-billion dollar investments. It all began with a letter sent in 2015 to the Chinese government that, according to Isabel Saint Malo, Panama's vice president, was titled "Panama wants to make ties with China". The contents of the letter are kept confidential, as well as the reasons of why it was sent. It has also been kept confidential who delivered the letter and assisted in the switchover process, which is only described as "a distinguished member of the Chinese community living in Panama". The exembassador of the US to Panama, John Feeley, said that he had asked Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela about the swichover in 2016 but Varela lied to him, saying that there were no plans to make the switchover. He also said that Varela didn't tell him the truth until 1 hour before the nationwide announcement. Others questioned why the Panamanian government continues to use equipment donated by Taiwan. The Panamanian government initially gave no reason, later saying that one reason was because "China is the second largest user of the Panama Canal" and President Varela said it was because he "couldn't accept it anyme" and "that's what every responsible leader would do". The Panamanian government officially said that Taiwan was an inalienable part of China and that the switchover was to comply with the one-China policy. The ROC government said that Panama was its "number one ally" and that it would not participate in Beijing's checkbook diplomacy. The Taiwanese government complained that Panama maliciously hid the switchover process until the last moment. In the first year of diplomatic relations, 19 treaties were signed, including a Free Trade Treaty. Varela said that its main purpose was to allow Chinese nationals to easily invest in Panama. Controversies over the sudden switchover, included lack of due process, unusually high levels of confidentiality, and the fact that a few weeks before the switchover, Taiwan had donated medical equipment to Panama. In 2018, the first flight from Beijing To Panama by Air China landed in Tocumen International Airport, with a technical stop in Houston. Varela called it a milestone in Panamanian aviation. Due to this new route, the Panamanian ministry of tourism expected at least 40,000 Chinese tourist visits per year. “History and socioeconomic reality” were cited as reasons. Varela said that the move was backed by diplomatic relationships dating from 1912 and that the move strengthened the existing relationships, despite the fact that those relationships were with the ROC, not the PRC. As a result, Panama City was almost immediately added to China's list of officially approved tourist destinations.[157][158][159][160] The Chinese Communist Party (or government) has offered the Panameñista party-led government a free feasibility study for the planned 4th set of locks in the Panama Canal in order to gain a competitive advantage in bids for choosing the company to build the 4th set of locks, not to mention plans for a 1200 hectare industrial park in the Pacific coast and a 4 hectare campus in Amador near the Biomuseo to house the People's Republic of China(PRC)'s embassy in Panama. There are also fears that Panama could turn into a conflict zone between the United States of America(US) and the People's Republic of China(PRC), due to Panama's strategic location. A Panamanian government agency later said that the switchover was because of Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen's violations and un-acknowledgement of the 1992 consensus regarding China, Taiwan and the One-china policy. Panamanian newspaper La Estrella questioned the reasons Varela initially gave for the switchover, like "China is the world's largest population and the 2nd largest economy and user of the Panama Canal", calling Varela's actions contradictory and saying that the reasons Varela gave were the reality Panama has lived under for decades, so those couldn't be regarded as valid reasons for the switchover. The same newspaper also says that China's plans in latin america convince latin american nations easily, with apparent benefits in the short term but with dependency in China in the long term and that China is silently invading other countries and Latin america in general.[161][162][163] There are also concerns that, in the long term, Chinese investments may control the Panamanian economy. [164]

Dominican RepublicEdit

On 1 May 2018, the Dominican Republic switched. The government initially gave no reason, although it later said in the switchover ceremony that Taiwan was an inalienable part of China and that the switchover was to comply to the one-China policy. It was motivated by loans and investments worth US$3.1 billion. “History and socioeconomic reality” were cited as reasons for the switchover. Flavio Darío Espinal, a government executive, said that “In the following months and years, enormous opportunities for cooperation will gradually open up, not only in the commercial area, but also in the financial, technological, tourist, educational or energy fields. To take just one example, more than 135 million Chinese tourists visit international destinations annually. The establishment of these diplomatic relations will allow part of that tourism to flow into our country in the near future. And that is just one of the things that will improve.”[165][166]

El SalvadorEdit

On 20 August 2018, El Salvador broke ties with Taiwan and established them with the PRC. El Salvador now only recognizes the PRC. Just like Panama and the Dominican Republic, the event was broadcast nationwide on radio and television. Hours before the announcement, Taiwan (ROC) announced that it had broken ties with El Salvador, citing the imminent establishment of diplomatic and commercial ties with the PRC (China). El Salavador's president said that his government had decided to make the switchover due to UN Resolution 2758. Taiwan now has just 17 diplomatic allies worldwide.[167] The Taiwanese government said that the switchover was not influenced by the Chinese government, but rather, the switchover was done in response to Taiwan refusing to fund the construction of Puerto La Unión and the El Salavdor's Salvadoran presidential election, 2019. [168] In response, US Senator Marco Rubio said that El Salvador's decision was a terrible one and threatened to cut off funding for El Salvador. Rubio also said that the switchover could have been influenced by a promise [by the Chinese Communist Party] to help fund the current ruling political party in El Salvador to win again the elections there.


Haiti is one of 17 nations to currently recognize the Republic of China over the People's Republic of China. In 2018, Taiwan offered a US$150 Million loan for Haiti's power grid in a bid to maintain diplomatic ties with the country once its neighbour, Dominican Republic severed ties with Taiwan along with Burkina Faso. In 2018, Haiti's president visited Taiwan to discuss economic issues and diplomatic relations.

Arab worldEdit

President Muhammad Naguib with Chinese Muslim Kuomintang National Revolutionary Army General Ma Bufang
ROC 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.

Egypt maintained relations until 1956, when Gamal Abdel Nasser cut off relations and recognized the PRC. Ma Bufang, who was then living in Egypt, was ordered to move to Saudi Arabia, and became the ROC ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia ended its diplomatic relations with the ROC in 1990. Ambassador Wang Shi-ming was a Chinese Muslim, and the ROC ambassador to Kuwait.[169] The ROC also maintained relations with Libya and Saudi Arabia.


Leadership meetings between ROC and India were carried out in the early 1940s before Indian independence from Great Britain.[170] The ROC is included in India's Look East policy. Bilateral relations between India and the ROC improved starting from the 1990s, despite the absence of official diplomatic relations.[171][172] India recognizes only the PRC. However, economic and commercial links as well as people-to-people contacts have expanded.[171] Like the PRC, the ROC disputes the Chinese border with India over Arunachal Pradesh. The ROC Constitution declares this area a part of South Tibet, and disputes the validity of the McMahon Line.


On 1 June 1920, a friendship agreement was signed between the ROC and Iran. Ratifications were exchanged on 6 February 1922, with effect on the same day.[173] These relations came to an end in 1971 as Tehran recognized Beijing.


Member of the House of Representative of Japan Keiji Furuya and President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan on May 20, 2016.

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


Relations are conducted on an unofficial level. Kuala Lumpur adopted a one-China policy in 1974, recognizing the PRC. Malaysia operates a trade centre office in Taipei,[174] and the ROC has an economic and cultural office in Kuala Lumpur.[175]


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 resumed considering it a part of China.[176][177]

On 3 October 2002, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognized Mongolia as an independent country,[178] although no legislative actions were taken to address concerns over its constitutional claims to Mongolia.[179] 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,[180] are dormant.[181][182] However, the official borders of the ROC have not been changed.[183] The official status of recognition is currently ambiguous, though in practice Mongolia is treated as an ordinary foreign power.


Paraguay President Horacio Cartes and President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan.

Paraguayan leader General Alfredo Stroessner was a partner of Generalissimo Chiang. Many Paraguayan officers trained in Fu Hsing Kang College in the ROC.[184]

Stroessner's 1989 ousting and his successor Andrés Rodríguez's reinventing himself as a democratically elected president, were immediately followed by invitations from Beijing to switch diplomatic recognition.[185] However, the Taiwanese ambassador, Wang Sheng, and his diplomats were able to convince the Paraguayans that continuing the relationship with the ROC, and thus keeping the ROC's development assistance and access to the ROC's markets, would be more advantageous for Paraguay.[citation needed]


The Philippines recognizes the One China Policy, but has relations with the ROC 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 corporations. The Philippines is the focal country for the ROC's 2016-2020 Southbound Policy, where the ROC plans to push for greater ties. The push was initially welcomed by the Aquino Administration, however, the Duterte Administration was elected in May 2016, complicating the issue as President Duterte was seen as 'pro-China', and thus would prefer better ties with the mainland over Taiwan. Political analysts during a forum in Manila said that ties between the Philippines and the ROC would have been the best coalition in the Far East, if the South China Sea territorial disputes between the two nations did not exist. The Philippines supports the ROC's membership in UNESCO.[citation needed]


In the Chinese Civil War, the Soviet Union had a tumultuous yet strategic relations with the Kuomintang-led Nationalist China until 1949. In the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev recommended the internationalization of the Taiwan Question and appealed to the United Nations and other multilateral organizations to intervene. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union called for the Ten Nations Summit in New Delhi to discuss the issue on 27 September 1958 as one of the precursors of the later Sino-Soviet split.[186] 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 has a representative office in Taipei,[187] and ROC has a representative office in Moscow.[188] 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 established unofficial diplomatic relations between 1993~1996. Taipei is targeting Russia for exporting opportunities and marketing potential.[189]


Singapore 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 with the Third Ministerial Meeting in Seoul.[190] After the establishment of diplomatic ties between Singapore and PRC on 3 October 1992, Singapore maintained close economic and military ties with Taiwan as part of its attempt to position itself as a neutral party. A diplomatic row broke out between China and Singapore when Lee Hsien Loong visited Taiwan one month before he was sworn-in as the Prime Minister of Singapore.[191] Singapore's Ministry of Defence moved to correct an erroneous report in the Liberty Times on a joint military exercise between the Singapore and Taiwan in March 2005.[192] 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. The PRC has offered to support relocating some or all of these facilities to Hainan.[193][194] On the issue of United Nations participation for Taiwan, George Yeo and Mark Chen, the two countries' Foreign Ministers. engaged in a heated exchange of views in 2004 between [195] Beijing's insistence that FTA can only be concluded among sovereign states complicates matters for Taiwan. Accordingly, Singapore and Taiwan signed the "Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP)" in November 2013.[196][197]


Taiwan has an embassy in Mbabane, Swaziland. On 7 June 2016, the National Police Agency and Royal Swaziland Police Service signed a joint, cross-border, crime fighting pact, which included exchanges, probes, personnel visits, professional skills enhancement, law enforcement and technical assistance.[198] King Mswati III has visited Taiwan seventeen times as of June 2018, and has promised to continue recognizing Taiwan instead of the PRC.[199] As of June 2018, the Taiwanese Ambassador is Thomas Chen (陳經銓).[200]

South Africa switched in 1998. Liberia recognized the ROC in 1989, and switched back to the PRC in October 2003.[154]

The Gambia recognized the ROC from 1968 until 1974, and then again from 1995 until 14 November 2013, when President Yahya Jammeh's office announced it had cut diplomatic ties with immediate effect.[201] The PRC recognized The Gambia on 17 March 2016.[202]

In December 2016, the government of São Tomé and Príncipe switched.[203]

Burkina Faso has recognized the ROC since 1994, but cut diplomatic ties in May 2018 establishing relations with the PRC.[204]


In 2007 Venezuela decided not to renew visas for five members of the ROC commercial representation in Caracas.[205] Relations with Venezuela have worsened because of the increasing partnership between the government of Venezuela and China.


ROC–Vietnam relations are conducted on an unofficial level, as Hanoi adheres to a one-China policy and officially recognizes the PRC only. However, this has not stopped bilateral visits and significant flows of migrants and investment capital between the ROC and Vietnam.[206] The ROC is an important foreign direct investment partner to Vietnam.[207]

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


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, Vanuatu, 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 Tuvalu and Nauru's most important economic partners.


In September 2006, the first regional summit of Taiwan's Pacific Island allies took place, hosted by Palau in Koror City. The meeting brought together President Chen and delegates from the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Kiribati.[208] It was to become a regular event, known as the Taiwan–Pacific Allies Summit.[209][210] A second regional meeting was hosted by the Marshall Islands in October, and President Chen attended.[211] 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.[212]

In June 2007, the ROC donated an aid package of 700,000, distributed among eight Pacific regional organisations.[213]

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.[214] 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.[215]

In March 2008, President-elect Ma was reported as saying that his government would put an end to Taiwanese "cheque-book diplomacy" in the Pacific (or more specifically, similar to the condition of cestui que use diplomacy).[216] In May of that same year, Ma called for what he referred to as a "cease-fire" in the competition between the ROC and the PRC 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.[217][218] Papua New Guinea's foreign minister Sam Abal subsequently confirmed that his country had no intention of recognizing the ROC.[219]

In October, Taiwan cancelled a scheduled summit with 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".[220] 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".[221]

In July 2009, the ROC donated over €40,000 in a scholarship scheme benefiting students from Pacific countries, including those, such as Fiji or Papua New Guinea, that do not grant it diplomatic recognition. It 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.[222]

Taiwan has asked to be recognized as an official dialogue partner of the Pacific Islands Forum. That status is currently awarded to the PRC.[223]


In February 2008, Australia reportedly "chastised Taiwan for its renewed push for independence" and "reiterated its support for a one-China policy".[224] Australia-Taiwan relations are growing in non-political areas including an annual Bilateral Economic Consultation and both sides also established Joint Energy, Mineral, Trade and Investment Cooperation Consultation (JEMTIC) as well as an Agriculture Working Group meeting.[225] Australia does not object Taiwan's participation in international organizations where consensus has been achieved,[226] and Australia-Taiwan relations are commercially and unofficially-driven, such as the Australia-Taiwan Business Council,[227] along with contacts in education, science, sports and arts.[228][229][230][231]

Taiwan is unofficially represented in Australia by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canberra (which has branches in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) while Australia is similarly represented by the Australian Office in Taipei. Taiwan has an official, government co-sponsored branch office of Taiwan External Trade Development Council in Sydney.[232] The Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong is responsible for Visa and Citizenship matters for applicants in Taiwan.[233] Perth has sister city relations with Taipei City and Brisbane has sister city relations with Kaohsiung City.[234][235]


The ROC set up a trade mission in Fiji in 1971. In 1975, PRC established diplomatic relation with Fiji. The trade center became the Trade Mission of the ROC to the Republic of Fiji in 1988. In 1996, ROC and Fiji signed a 'mutual recognition' communique and Fiji set up its representative office named Fiji Trade and Tourism Representative Office in 1997 in Taipei. The Fiji office closed on 10 May 2017.[236]


Kiribati President Taneti Mamau and President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan.

Kiribati, under the government of President Taneti Mamau, recognizes the ROC.

From 1980 to 2003, Kiribati recognized the PRC. Relations between China and Kiribati then became a contentious political issue within 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 that 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".[237] 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".[238] Tong had previously pledged to "review" the lease.[239]

In November 2003, Tarawa established diplomatic relations with Taipei[238] 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.[240] 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,[241] thereby losing the right to maintain its satellite-tracking base. The ROC 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 trying to influence his country.[242] The comment was mainly due to the PRC's refusal to remove all its personnel from its closed embassy.[240] 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".[243] Tong's brother and main political opponent, Harry Tong, responded by accusing Taiwan of excessive influence on Kiribati, notably of influencing the country's clergy.[242]

In 2008, Taiwan settled Kiribati's unpaid bills to Air Pacific, enabling the airline to maintain its services from Tarawa to Kiritimati.[244]

In November 2010, despite their lack of diplomatic relations, the PRC was one of fifteen countries to attend the Tarawa Climate Change Conference in Kiribati, and one of twelve to sign the resulting Ambo Declaration on climate change.[245]

Marshall IslandsEdit

The Marshall Islands recognize the ROC and maintain an embassy in Taipei. The magazine Islands Business reported that President Litokwa Tomeing, elected in January 2008, might turn instead to the PRC.[246] However, in office Tomeing expressed continued support for ties with Taiwan and met with ROC Vice President Annette Lu when she visited the Marshall Islands on 29 January 2008.[247]


Nauru President Baron Waqa and President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan.

Nauru, under the government of President Baron Waqa, recognizes the ROC.

In 1980, Nauru established official relations with the ROC. In 2002, however, the government of Rene Harris established relations with the PRC,[248] and adopted the One China Policy.[249] Consequently, Taiwan severed its relations with Nauru, and accused the PRC of having bought Nauru's allegiance with financial aid of over €90,000,000.[250] 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".[238]

In 2003, Nauru closed its newly established embassy in Beijing. Two years later, ROC President Chen met Nauruan President Ludwig Scotty in the Marshall Islands. In May 2005, the ROC and Nauru re-established diplomatic relations,[251] and opened embassies in each other's capitals. The PRC consequently severed its relations with Nauru.

The ROC is one of Nauru's two foremost economic aid partners (with Australia). In return, Nauru uses its seat in the United Nations to support the ROC's admittance proposal. Taiwan provides regular medical assistance to Nauru, sending specialised doctors to the country's only hospital.[252]

In 2007, Scotty was re-elected, amidst claims that his electoral campaign had been funded by Taiwan.[253] 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, President Chen 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.[254]

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".[255]

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.[256]

In 2011 WikiLeaks revealed 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".[257]

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 Scotty had reportedly resisted on the grounds that it was "none of Australia's business".[257]

In late 2011, Taiwan "doubled its health aid" to Nauru, notably providing a resident medical team on a five-year appointment.[258]

In 2018, a diplomatic row between the PRC and Nauru occurred at the Pacific Islands Forum when Nauruans would only stamp entry visas on personal passports of Mainland diplomats rather than diplomatic ones.[259]

New ZealandEdit

On 10 July 2013, New Zealand and ROC signed a bilateral Economic Cooperation Agreement.[260][261]


Palau President Tommy Remengesau and President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan.

Palau recognizes the ROC, and is one of the few countries to maintain an embassy in Taipei. Diplomatic relations began in 1999, five years after Palaun independence.[262] ROC maintains an embassy in Koror City.[263] 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 [sic] 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.[264]

Travel from the Mainland to Palau is illegal.[262][265]

Papua New GuineaEdit

Papua recognizes the PRC.

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

Solomon IslandsEdit

Solomon Islands recognizes the ROC, and maintains an embassy in Taipei. The two countries established diplomatic relations on 23 May 1983.[266] A ROC consulate general in Honiara was upgraded to an embassy two years later.[267] Since 2011, the ROC's ambassador to the Solomons has been 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.[268]

Despite a lack of diplomatic recognition, Solomon Islands trades more with the PRC than with Taiwan. In 2009, over half the country's exports went to the PRC, 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.[269]

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.[270] 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".[271] 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 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,[254] 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."[272] Solomon Islands has continued to recognize the ROC under Sikua's leadership.

Later that same month, Taiwan's president-elect Ma 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."[273] 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.”[274]

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

"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."[275]

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."[276]

In July, it was announced that Taiwanese doctors would be providing free medical care to Solomon Islands villagers,[277] and that unskilled Solomon Islands workers would be granted access to the Taiwanese labour market.[278] At the same time, Taiwan was funding rural development projects in the Solomons.[279] 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.[280]


Tuvalu recognizes the ROC (ROC). Taiwan maintains the only foreign resident embassy in Tuvalu, in Funafuti.

Tuvalu supports the ROC's bid to join the United Nations, and Taiwan has provided Tuvalu with mobile medical missions.[281]

In 2006, Taiwan reacted to reports that the PRC was attempting to draw Tuvalu away from the ROC. Taiwan consequently strengthened its weakening diplomatic relations with Tuvalu.[282]


Vanuatu recognizes the PRC. In November 2004, Prime Minister Serge Vohor briefly established diplomatic relations with Taiwan, before he was ousted for that reason in a vote of no confidence.[283][284]

Europe and the European UnionEdit

See Taiwan–European Union relations by EEAS

The Republic of Macedonia recognized the ROC in 1999, but switched in 2001 after the PRC imposed economic sanctions and used a rare veto on the UN Security Council to block peacekeeping efforts.[154]

The European Union has emphasized human rights in its relations with ROC.[285] European Union is the largest source of foreign direct investment to Taiwan.[286][287] The European Union has unofficial relations[288] with Taiwan through the European Economic and Trade Office, which was opened on 10 March 2003.[289] Taipei is one of the major trading partners via the European Free Trade Association,[290] and a trading partner with the Eurozone.[291] Taiwanese passport holders identity card numbers do not require Schengen visa whilst visiting the Schengen Area, while the ROC eliminated visas for Schengen Area citizens.[292][293][294] EU-Taiwan relations were debated in the European Parliament.[295] Sixteen EU member states have established offices in Taipei, along with some functional offices.[296] Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium is the unofficial diplomatic representation of Taiwan in the EU.[297] The United Kingdom's relations with Taiwan[298] are conducted unofficially through the British Office[299] and the British Council in Taipei. Chinese Taipei is an observer[300][301][302] in the OECD, which is headquartered in Paris, France. ROC's Civil Service Protection and Training Commission (CSPTC) and the Belgian Training Institute of the Federal Administration (TIFA) signed Memorandum of Understanding on 7 November 2014 for workshop attendance of public servants that highlighted leadership, innovation and conflict management, as well as global competitiveness strategies in Brussels.[303][304] The EU rejects granting Mainland China market economy status.[305]

International organizationsEdit

Flag of Chinese Taipei in the official Olympic Games

Under pressure from the PRC, 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". The ROC is blocked from UNESCO by the PRC, although its membership application is backed by Swaziland, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay.

Below is a list of such international organizations with the name by which Taiwan is known in each:

International treatiesEdit

ROC is a party to major international treaties, including:

Territorial disputesEdit

ROC 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.[citation needed] 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, which are administered by Japan.

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

Transport and communicationsEdit

Air linksEdit

A China Airlines Boeing 747-400 in old livery, bearing the ROC flag.

The dispute over Taiwan's status affects 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 because of 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, Air France Asie operated flights to Paris while Qantas had a subsidiary called Australia Asia Airlines, which operated flights to Sydney. Other countries' flag carriers, such as Germany's Lufthansa, operated flights to Taipei using an existing subsidiary (in Lufthansa's case, Condor).

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 PRC that flew to Narita. All Nippon Airways, however, used an existing subsidiary, Air Nippon. With the implementation of a new Japan-Taiwan air agreement, JAL and ANA took over flight operations between Japan and Taiwan in April 2008.[596][597]

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.


International dialing codes are assigned by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to its member states and their dependencies. However, as Taiwan was not an ITU member state, it had to be allocated the code +886 unofficially, with the ITU listing the code as 'reserved' until 2006.[598] However, in that year, it formally allocated the code to "Taiwan, China".[599] Until the late 1970s, Taiwan used the code 866, but the 86 code was reassigned to the PRC in conformity with the ITU's official membership, forcing Taiwan to utilize another code for countries that wished to maintain direct dial connections.[600]

Codes in the +86 6 number range are allocated to cities in Mainland China; for example, the area code for Yangjiang is 0662.[601] Calls from Mainland China to Taiwan use the international prefix 00886.[602]

See alsoEdit


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