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The BBC's April 4, 2023 Arunachal Pradesh: India rejects China's attempt to rename disputed places led me to read Wikipedia's Arunachal Pradesh. The introduction of that article, until a few days ago, ended with:

A major part of the state is claimed by both the People's Republic of China, which refers to it as "Zangnan," and the Republic of China as part of the region of "South Tibet". The People's Liberation Army briefly occupied parts of the state in 1962.

So I've updated my question to ask simply:

Question: Are, or have major areas of Arunachal Pradesh ever been claimed by a Republic of China (ROC) government?

I would be surprised if Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC) currently claimed Arunachal Pradesh, as part of the region of "South Tibet" or otherwise, but I don't know.

"ROC" has usages beyond the current government in Taiwan of course:


Potentially related:

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    The last ref on that is from around the year 2000, so [on the Taiwan side] I suspect only the KMT [government] claimed that. I don't know when was the last time they did it explicitly though. Apr 11, 2023 at 5:21
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    BTW, I suggest dropping the PRC from the title, since they obviously claimed AP recently, and you don't really seem to doubt that the PRC does that. Apr 11, 2023 at 5:31
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    FTWT, another Wikipedia page says: "However, after Taiwan's democratization in the 1990s, relevant laws have excluded territory governed by India from the scope of Mainland China, as does the official map of Taiwan's foreign ministry." The ref for the latter is in Chinese mofa.gov.tw/CountryInfo.aspx?CASN=5&n=5&sms=33&s=30 Apr 11, 2023 at 5:36
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    The latter Wikipedia page only mentions 1962 as the last time this was in high-level focus: "in 1962, around the time of the Sino-Indian War, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that they did not recognise the legality of McMahon Line. The same year Western countries increased pressure on the then Taiwan leader, Chiang Kai-shek, to recognise the legality of McMahon Line in order to isolate Beijing. However, Chiang dismissed McMahon Line as 'imperialist imposition on China'." Apr 11, 2023 at 5:45
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    That Wikipedia page was edited a couple times in the last two days to remove the statement about ROC's claim and to add a citation for PRC.
    – shoover
    Apr 13, 2023 at 20:06

1 Answer 1

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The Republic of China has claimed South Tibet, including the Arunachal Pradesh area, as its territory, at least in the following senses or contexts:

  1. The whole reason of the dispute was that the ROC representative had refused to recognize the concession of Tibetan territories made by Tibet to British India, since China considered Tibet to be under Chinese rule (effective or not) and did not recognize the power of Tibetan government to conduct foreign affairs without consent of the central Chinese government (be it Qing, ROC or PRC). The Chinese position is that the border line around the region has not been resolved by bilateral accords and is an unsettled question.
  2. The Government of the ROC had published a map over its entire territory until 1998 and included the South Tibet region (1925, 1979, 1998). For context, in 1998, Taiwan had already held its first universal elections on local and national level that were considered open and fair enough.
  3. The Yearbook of the Republic of China published by the ROC government included a section on Mainland territories claimed by the ROC until 2005. It (the 2005 edition) claimed the border of ROC's mainland territories is roughly "parallel to the lower Yarlung Tsangpo stream, and 60 km away from it" For context, the first non-KMT president was elected in 2000.

Since 2005, the government has de-emphasized its claims outside the so called Free Areas and stopped actively publishing official maps over the entire territory (全图). The name "Free areas of the Republic of China" itself implies the existence of "unfree" areas.

In any case, the ROC currently has no interest and no ability to assert claims over disputed areas in Mainland. But it has not formally renounced its claims, other than the re-recognition of an independent Mongolia.

The current ROC regime nonethless relies on historical claims (inherited also by the PRC regime) from time to time in the context of maritime disputes in East China and South China Seas. The ROC actively pursues its claims in these disputes against countries other than the PRC (and vice versa).

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