EASSC Publications


Taiwan in the 1960s and 1970s: Lost Opportunity for Independence?

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper


When the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan exited the United Nations in 1971 and the normalization process began between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, there was a sense among Western experts that an opportunity for the island’s leaders to declare their legal independence from Mainland China had been lost. As China emerged from its diplomatic isolation, both self and externally imposed, these Westerners believed that the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party were open to be pragmatic toward of the Taiwan issue even if leadership on the island itself was not. This paper will explore the legitimacy of this assumption.

Journal, Book or Conference Title

East Asia Security Symposium and Conference 东亚安全座谈谈论会

Publication Details

Author Information: Tracy Steele is an Associate Professor of History at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. She teaches and writes on diplomatic and Asian history including articles on Anglo-American relations in Asia and a textbook for Chinese students on Cross-Cultural Communication. She is presently completing a monograph on Sino-British relations in the 1950s. It emphasizes the extent to which China linked Britain’s actions and attitudes toward the Republic of China on Taiwan, particularly its vote in the United Nations on Chinese representation and the British Consulate in Taiwan, to improving the two countries’ trade and diplomatic relations.



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