Formosa: A Problem for United States Foreign Policy

By Joseph W. Ballantine | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7 Development of United States Policy Regarding Formosa

BEFORE the Second World War, United States concern with Formosa was almost wholly commercial, and even American commercial interests were relatively small. Formosa was unique among the areas in the Far East of comparable accessibility and populousness in the fact that no American missionary establishments or other philanthropic and cultural enterprises were located there. Between 1898 and the outbreak of the war the United States maintained a consulate at Taipei.

By the time when, fifty years ago, concern for the preservation of the territorial and administrative integrity of China was first officially and formally declared to be a feature of United States policy, Formosa had already been ceded to Japan.1 The United States raised no questions in regard to the cession when it took place, nor later in regard to the exercise by Japan of sovereignty over Formosa until after the outbreak of the Second World War. In brief, not until 1941 did developments in or regarding Formosa pose a problem of practical political concern to the United States.

With the Chinese reoccupation of Formosa in Septem

____________________
1
The cession occurred in 1895, whereas it was not until July 3, 1900 that the enunciation of this position was made, in a note addressed by Secretary of State Hay to the powers.

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