THE CENTRAL question posed internationally in regard to Formosa, namely that of its political status, arises from the fact that the island is the focal point of a conflict between two rival claimants -- the National Government of China and the Central People's Government of the People's Republic -- for supreme authority over all of China. Normally a dispute of this character would be essentially an internal Chinese matter. However, one of the rival claimants has openly acknowledged the leadership of the Soviet Union, whose policies have been directed to expanding Soviet influence and domination and whose power threatens the peace and security of other nations. Concern lest loss of the island to the Communist claimant might give Soviet-Communism a material advantage in the world-wide struggle has influenced the attitude and actions of some of the nations that are opposing Communism, most notably those of the United States. At the same time, the other claimant still holds Formosa, an integral part of the national domain; and, equally important, that claimant represents China on the international stage, by sitting as one of the permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations and by occupying China's seats in the General Assembly and in other organs.