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

Abstract

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
Volume39
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)90-105
Number of pages16
ISSN0092-7678
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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