Office/Agency: Dept. of State
title: US Executive Branch has not formally recognized Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan
date: June 26, 2007
quote: As recently as June 2007, a State Department letter noted that "Although the United States recognizes the PRC Government as the sole legal government of China, we have not formally recognized Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. In fact, we have not made any determination as to Taiwan's political status." Letter from Sue Bremner, Deputy Director, Office of Taiwan Coordination, June 26, 2007.
The legal rationale for this position was conveyed in a "top secret" State Department position paper to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in October 1954, which noted that the "future" status of Taiwan and the Pescadores "was deliberately left undetermined, and the U.S. as a principal victor over Japan has an interest in their ultimate future. We are not willing that that future should be one which would enable a hostile regime to endanger the defensive position which is so vital in keeping the Pacific a friendly body of water." See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954, Volume XIV, China and Japan (Part 1) (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985), p. 760.
Mr. Tkacik concludes that: "For more than six decades, the United States has explicitly declined to recognize "Chinese" sovereignty over Taiwan, even under the 'Republic of China.' "
(source: John J. Tkacik, Jr., "Taiwan's Elections: Sea Change in the Strait," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1865, March 24, 2008 )