The Diaoyutai Islands on Taiwan’s Official Maps: Pre- and Post-1971

Ko-Hua Yap, Yu-Wen Chen, Ching-Chi Huang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    This report presents cartographic evidence of the government of the
    Republic of China’s (ROC) change of attitude from denying to asserting
    sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands in the early 1970s. Scholars have hinted
    that China kept silent about the Japanese claim on the Diaoyutai Islands since
    its 1895 annexation. As cartographic evidence in this report reveals, however, the
    ROC did not keep silent. By not including the Diaoyutai Islands in its official car-
    tographic productions, the ROC admitted that the Diaoyutai Islands were not part
    of its territory. This has significant implications for the ROC because Japan exerts
    its claim over the islands not only on the terra nullius principle, but also on the
    fact that Taiwan viewed these islands as non-ROC territory until the 1970s. Today,
    Taiwan continues to exert the claim that it has owned these islands since ancient
    times. Our cartographic evidence suggests difficulties for Taiwan in defending its
    claim in this longstanding battle.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAsian Affairs: An American Review
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)90-105
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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