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Explainer: the complex question of Taiwanese independence

By Ben Saul, Challis Chair of International Law, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney
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“Strategic ambiguity” – the policy that has underpinned the West’s defence 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…The Conversation


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