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Taiwan's Claim to Statehood Re-Examined

University of Ottawa's, Phil C. W. Chan examines the legal status of Taiwan and the political tensions between China and the United States.

April 18, 2007 12:00am

April 18, 2007, 12:00 PM
University of California, Berkeley
3401 Dwinelle Hall

Sponsors: Center for Chinese Studies

Phil C. W. Chan, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, University of Ottawa

The legal status of Taiwan remains one of the most important and troubling concerns of international relations, as the continual political stalemate and tensions have the potential of generating armed conflict and open hostility, not only across the Taiwan Strait but also between China and the United States, and of destabilising the security of the Asia-Pacific Region and the international community. Accordingly, it is the intention of this article to examine, on the basis of international law, whether China has a valid claim of sovereignty over Taiwan or Taiwan is an independent sovereign State entitled under international law to attendant rights and obligations. This Lecture, based on the Speaker’s research to appear in the Australian Year Book of International Law, will discuss the implications of relevant peace treaties; the relevancy of foreign recognition of statehood; the operability of the doctrine of estoppel; the nature and extent of the right to self-determination; and the permissibility of the use of force, in connection with the Taiwan question.