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     Although the mission of the Taiwan Documents Project is to examine what international law says about the status of Taiwan, the law is only one of several issues one must look at in considering Taiwan's status. Indeed, legal issues are relatively unimportant in the dispute over Taiwan because evidence from international law, as well as current norms for resolving such disputes, are so overwhelmingly against the position of one of the disputants that she rarely ever presses her claims based on the law. Even if international law was more equivocal on the question of Taiwan, legal considerations can only be expected to matter to regimes that respect the rule of law, domestically and internationally, and that are willing to fulfill their obligations as responsible members of the international community.

     This area of the Taiwan Documents Project will, therefore, explore non-legal determinants for Taiwan's status and will evaluate arguments put forward by Chinese officials and academics in support of China's claims to Taiwan. All of these arguments are predicated on the assertion that, based on history, geography, geology, culture, language, and race, Taiwanese are Chinese and Taiwan is a part of China. Each of these arguments will be carefully and fairly evaluated, and readers are invited to offer comment. 

     In addition to assessing the arguments put forward by the Chinese side, the Taiwan Documents Project will examine two issues that the Chinese have dismissed as irrelevant to the resolution of the Taiwan Question: Human rights and self-determination and the impact on global security of alternative solutions to the dispute.


  • History
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Self-determination and Human Rights
  • Global Security
  • Conclusions

Methods recognised under international law for acquiring sovereignty

Summary of international agreements dealing with sovereignty over Taiwan

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This article was written by Charlie Chi for the Taiwan Documents Project (last revised 12 January 2000).