Mon, Sep 12, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Sovereignty explored online

By Richard Hartzell

I have seen some recent comments in the local newspapers about a new argument between Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) regarding the international legal status of Taiwan.

Under international law, the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan was owned by Japan from 1895 until late April 1952. Ma's statement that the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan was transferred to the Republic of China (ROC) via the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation, and/or the Japanese surrender documents is totally incorrect.

In the post-Napoleonic period, the sovereignty of territory is transferred by treaty.

I have produced a chart which explores this topic in detail. It is entitled "Examination of Taiwan's Territorial Sovereignty and the ROC's International Legal Position," and is available for download in MS Word format at

Richard Hartzell


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