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Republic of China – United States relations
Republic of China   United States
Map indicating location of Taiwan and USA
     Taiwan      United States

The United States recognised the Republic of China government as the sole and legitimate government of China after the Xinhai Revolution in 1911 despite a number of governments ruling various parts of China. China was reunified by a single government led by the Kuomintang (KMT) in 1928.

Contents

History

In October 1945, the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek were sent to Taiwan to accept the surrender of Japanese troops. However, during the period of the 1940s, there was no recognition by the United States Government that Taiwan had ever been incorporated into Chinese national territory.[1]

In 1949 during the Chinese Civil War, KMT lost control of mainland China and relocated the ROC capital to Taipei, and Communist Party of China established People's Republic of China on mainland China. Both the ROC and PRC governments claiming themselves as the sole and legitimate government of China.

On January 1, 1979, the United States changed its diplomatic recognition of Chinese government from the ROC to the PRC. In the U.S.-PRC Joint Communiqué that announced the change, the United States recognized the Government of the PRC as the sole legal government of China and acknowledged the PRC position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China. The Joint Communiqué also stated that within this context the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people on Taiwan. Since then, the ROC has been referred by the United States government as 'Taiwan'.

On April 10, 1979, U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which created domestic legal authority for the conduct of unofficial relations with Taiwan. U.S. commercial, cultural, and other interaction with the people on Taiwan is facilitated through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a private nonprofit corporation. The Institute has its headquarters in the Washington, DC area and has offices in Taipei and Kaohsiung. It is authorized to issue visas, accept passport applications, and provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Taiwan. A counterpart organization, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), has been established by the ROC. It has its headquarters in Taipei, the representative branch office in Washington, DC, and 11 other Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (TECO) in the continental U.S. and Guam. The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) continues to provide the legal basis for the unofficial relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan, and enshrines the U.S. commitment to assisting Taiwan maintain its defensive capability.

Following de-recognition, the United States terminated its Mutual Defense Treaty with Taiwan as of January 1, 1980. However, the United States has continued the sale of appropriate defensive military equipment to Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, which provides for such sales and which declares that peace and stability in the area are in U.S. interests. Sales of defensive military equipment are also consistent with the 1982 U.S.-P.R.C. Joint Communiqué.

The United States position on Taiwan is reflected in the Three Communiqués and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The U.S. insists on the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences and encourages dialogue to help advance such an outcome. The U.S. does not support Taiwan independence. U.S. President George W. Bush stated on December 9, 2003 that the United States is opposed to any attempt by either side to unilaterally alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. While the United States welcomes recent exchanges that enhance channels of communication between leaders in Beijing and Taipei, the United States urges Beijing and Taipei to further advance cross-Strait cooperation and dialogue, including direct discussions between the authorities in Beijing and elected leaders in Taipei.

U.S. commercial ties with Taiwan have been maintained and have expanded since 1979. Taiwan continues to enjoy Export-Import Bank financing, Overseas Private Investment Corporation guarantees, normal trade relations (NTR) status, and ready access to U.S. markets. In recent years, AIT commercial dealings with Taiwan have focused on expanding market access for American goods and services. AIT has been engaged in a series of trade discussions, which have focused on protection of intellectual property rights and market access for U.S. goods and services.

Maintaining diplomatic relations with the PRC has been recognized to be in the long-term interest of the United States by seven consecutive administrations; however, maintaining strong, unofficial relations with Taiwan also a major U.S. goal, in line with its desire to further peace and stability in Asia. In keeping with its China policy, the U.S. does not support Taiwan independence, but it does support Taiwan's membership in appropriate international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the Asian Development Bank, where statehood is not a requirement for membership. In addition, the U.S. supports appropriate opportunities for Taiwan's voice to be heard in organizations where its membership is not possible.

See also

External links

Notes

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).[1]

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