Taiwan’s Policy toward the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands Dispute and the Implications for the US

Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, University of Richmond


The long-standing but subdued territorial disputes over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, known as Diaoyu in China, Diaoyutai in Taiwan, and Senkaku in Japan, reignited in September 2012 when the Japanese government “nationalized” the islands in a purported “purchase” to pre-empt the controversial purchase proposed by the then-governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara. While most analysts focus their attention on the rising tensions between China and Japan and the implications for the United States, Taiwan (officially Republic of China, or ROC) is also a claimant and somehow managed to make its presence known through a delicate legal and diplomatic strategy.