The Complex Legal Question of Taiwanese Independence


“Strategic ambiguity” – the policy that has underpinned the West’s defense of Taiwan for half a century or more. Rests on another ambiguity: Taiwan’s status in international law. And that status matters because it could help us answer three questions: does China have a legal right to restore control over its own territory by force? do Taiwan and its allies have a legal right to resist such an attack? might Taiwan even have the right to declare independence? The islands we know as Taiwan have been inhabited for 30,000 years, including by successive waves of peoples from mainland China. Taiwan…

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