Category Passport issuance
Sub-Category Competent authority
Question What agency or department has the legal authority to issue passports for Taiwan people?
Answer In order to answer this question, we can only look at the treatment of the populace of other territories in relevant treaties, and see what valid comparisons can be made for Taiwan.

In the last 100 years, the highest ranking document of international law regarding the disposition of Taiwan territory is the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) of April 28, 1952. In the SFPT, Japan renounced sovereignty over Taiwan, but no “receiving country” was specified.

When reading the treaty, the key point to gaining a full understanding of Taiwan’s disposition is to comprehend the concept of “military government.” A definition can be provided as follows –

Military government is the form of administration by which an occupying power exercises governmental authority over occupied territory. .

According to Article 4(b) of the treaty, the United States Military Government (USMG) has jurisdiction over the Article 2 territory of Taiwan and the Article 3 territory of the Ryukyus.

What rights does this jurisdiction include? During its administration of the Ryukyus, USMG issued “travel documents” (i.e. passports) to the local “island citizens” in the Ryukyu islands. Hence, it is entirely logical and fully in conformance with legal precedent for the U.S. military authorities issue “travel documents” (i.e. passports) to the local “island citizens” in Taiwan.

Further References and Links
Taiwan's Legal Status: Taiwan's Legal Status: An Overview of the San Francisco Peace Treaty

Areas Conquered by U.S. Military Forces and therefore under USMG Jurisdiction -- with later "new disposition" by peace treaty