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China »

Björn Ahl
1 For many centuries China was a leading civilization, outpacing other countries in terms of economic power and cultural and scientific development. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, China was afflicted by civil wars, famine, military defeat, and foreign occupation. The last Chinese civil war resulted in two political entities using the name China (Chinese: Zhongguo, meaning ‘Middle Kingdom’): the People’s Republic of China (‘PRC’) and the Republic of China (‘ROC’; see Divided States). The PRC administers mainland China and, since 1997 and 1999 respectively,...

Taiwan »

Björn Ahl
1 The question of Taiwan’s international legal status is one of the most enduring problems in international law. Based on effectiveness, Taiwan appears to comply with the criteria of statehood, but it has not unequivocally asserted a separate legal status as a State, and therefore it cannot be regarded as a State under international law. Moreover, the question of what entity acquired territorial sovereignty over Taiwan needs to be addressed (Territorial Integrity and Political Independence). The contentious legal issues relating to Taiwan’s participation in...