Taiwan's Legal Status: An Overview of the San Francisco Peace Treaty


Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides that:


This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land . . . . .

SFPT: Article 25 and Annotations


Article 25
For the purposes of the present Treaty the Allied Powers shall be the States at war with Japan, or any State which previously formed a part of the territory of a State named in Article 23, provided that in each case the State concerned has signed and ratified the Treaty. Subject to the provisions of Article 21, the present Treaty shall not confer any rights, titles or benefits on any State which is not an Allied Power as herein defined; nor shall any right, title or interest of Japan be deemed to be diminished or prejudiced by any provision of the Treaty in favour of a State which is not an Allied Power as so defined.

ANNOTATIONS to Article 25
As non-signatories to the SFPT, neither the ROC nor the PRC are included in the meaning of the term "Allied Powers."

Some compelling reasons why the ROC was not invited to sign this treaty may be found by examining the historical record. One notable point is to recognize that Taiwan was sovereign Japanese territory before the coming into force of the SFPT on April 28, 1952. Hence, when the Republic of China moved its central government to occupied Taiwan in early December 1949, it immediately became a government in exile.

In the early 1950s, the U.K., in particular, having already broken diplomatic relations with the ROC in Jan. 1950, could not agree that the ROC was still fulfilling the role of “the sole legitimate government of China.” As a leading member of the Allies, the U.K. strongly objected to the ROC being invited to participate in the San Francisco Peace Conference in Sept. 1951. Although the ROC officials spent much money lobbying with the officials of the major world nations to obtain an invitation to the Conference, in the end they were unsuccessful.

Return to SFPT

You may download a copy of this entire essay in Powerpoint for your own reference.
(English 英文) See -- http://www.twclarify.com/taiwan/pages/sfpt/SFPT-1952.pptx
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