With a territory consisting of 36,000 square kilometres and a population of 23 million, the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, Penghu, Jinmen and Mazu had, in 1970, the year prior to its withdrawal from the United Nations (UN), a population larger than two thirds of the countries in the world. In 1996, its population exceeded that of three quarters of the member nations of UN. However, the question of Taiwan being a nation in the international order is, strangely, still debated. To enquire into this delicate issue, Dr. Man-houng Lin will address to what extent the statehood of the ROC on Taiwan has or has not been secured by the Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan, singed and turned effective in 1952, and often referred to as the “Taipei Treaty.” (Taibei heyue) She will also illustrate that not only the People’s Republic of China, but also the Taiwanese in general have been unclear about Taiwan’s status as a sovereign state on the world stage. Meanwhile, in this special seminar Dr. Lin will further depict the background of the Taipei Treaty in terms of the long-term history of the Asian Pacific region. She will show how the Cold War made the Taipei Treaty, and ironically, how the ideological attachment of Taiwan with the Chinese mainland has also blurred this treaty.
Man-houng Lin received her Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University. She has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica since 1990, and Professor at the Department of History, National Taiwan Normal University since 1991. Her research interests include treaty ports and modern China, native opium of late Qing China, currency crisis and early nineteenth-century China, and Taiwanese merchants' overseas economic networks during the Japanese colonial period. She has published 5 books and about 70 articles in Chinese, English, Japanese, and Korean. From May 2008 to December 2010, Dr. Lin was President of the Academia Historica, the Republic of China (Taiwan).