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Retrocession of Taiwan

On December 9, 1941, the government of the Republic of China (ROC) officially declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy. The ROC Declaration of War against Japan states that 'all treaties, agreements and contracts concerning Sino-Japanese relations are hereby annulled.'

 

The Cairo Declaration, agreed upon on November 27, 1943, by the leaders of the Republic of China, the United States and the United Kingdom, and issued, as arranged, by the White House on December 1, states: 'All the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.'

 

The Potsdam Declaration of July 1945 reiterates that the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out. On August 15 that same year, the Japanese Emperor announced Japan's acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration and its unconditional surrender to the Allies. The Japanese Instrument of Surrender, which was submitted to the Allies and the China Theatre of War on September 2 and 9, respectively, states that Japan accepted the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration. General Order No. 1, issued on September 2 by General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, stipulates that 'the senior Japanese commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within China (excluding Manchuria), Formosa and French Indo-China north of 16° north latitude shall surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.'

 

These documents provide solid evidence of the retrocession of Taiwan to the Republic of China. Furthermore, the United States also includes both the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration as part of the Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949 and lists the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in the United States Statutes at Large, Vol.59, which makes them binding.

 

The Treaty of Peace of between the Republic of China and Japan, signed in April 1952, confirms not only the provisions of the above documents, but also the fact that all the inhabitants of Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) hold the nationality of the Republic of China.

 

This section exhibits five important documents that relate closely to Taiwan. The Treaty of Shimonoseki, an unequal treaty forced upon the Ch'ing Empire, as well as the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Declaration and the Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan, all offer tangible evidence of the ROC's heroic struggle for the successful recovery of its sovereign rights.


Treaty of Peace between China and Japan (Treaty of Shimonoseki)(另開新視窗)

Treaty of Peace between China and Japan
(Treaty of Shimonoseki)

Treaty signed: 1895/4/17
Location: Shimonoseki
32.3 × 21.8 cm

 

The treaty that cedes Taiwan and the Pescadores to Japan.

Map Attached to the Treaty of Peace between China and Japan(另開新視窗)

Map Attached to the Treaty of Peace between China and Japan
Date:1895/4/17
55 × 68 cm

Cairo Declaration(另開新視窗)

Cairo Declaration
Date: 1943/12/1
Location: Washington, D.C.
30.2 × 22.4 cm

 

'All the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.'

Potsdam Declaration(另開新視窗)

Potsdam Declaration
Date: 1945/7/26
Location: Potsdam
30.2 × 22.4 cm

 

Article 8:
The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.

Japanese Instrument of Surrender to the China Theatre of War(另開新視窗)

Japanese Instrument of Surrender to the China Theatre of War
Date: 1945/9/9
Location: Nanking
31.5 × 24 cm

Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan (Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty)(另開新視窗)

Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan
(Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty)

Treaty signed: 1952/4/28
Location: Taipei
35.4 × 25.7 cm

 

'It is recognized that all treaties, conventions and agreements concluded before December 9, 1941, between Japan and China have become null and void as a consequence of the war.'