Since its founding in 1949, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has had a diplomatic tug-of-war with its rival in Taiwan, the Republic of China (ROC). Throughout the Cold War, both governments claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all China and allowed countries to recognize either one or the other. Until the 1970s, most Western countries recognized the ROC while the communist bloc and third world countries generally recognized the PRC. This gradually shifted and today only 23 states recognize the ROC while the PRC is recognized by the United Nations and the majority (171) of sovereign states around the world and Palestine. Both the ROC and the PRC maintain the requirement of recognizing its view of the One-China policy to establish or maintain diplomatic relations.
Countries of the world indicating decade diplomatic relations commenced with the PRC: 1949/1950s (dark red), 1960s (red), 1970s (orange), 1980s (beige) and 1990s/2000s (yellow). Countries not recognised by or not recognising the PRC are in grey. The PRC itself (excluding South Tibet and Taiwan) is in black.
The PRC was established on October 1, 1949, when the Chinese Civil War was still underway, and the seat of Government of the ROC was not relocated to Taipei until December, 1949. All the countries that recognized the new PRC government were Communist states.
Recognition of the PRC after it was seated at the UN
The Republic of China, which had occupied China's seat at the United Nations since 1945, was effectively expelled on October 25, 1971. Its seat was taken over by the People's Republic of China, and the migration of relations to the PRC soon followed among members of the Western Bloc, except for the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and Italy, which had previously established diplomatic relations.
^Succeeded by the Czech Republic. Diplomatic relations with the |Slovak Republic were established on January 1, 1993, mutually agreed to trace the date of establishment of diplomatic relations back to October 6, 1949.</
^ abcOn January 6, 1950, the United Kingdom recognized the PRC and requested the exchange of ambassadors, but this was refused. The UK and The Netherlands established diplomatic relations at chargé d'affaires level with the PRC on June 17, 1954 and November 19, 1954 respectively. The PRC government does not regard the semi-diplomatic relations at chargé d'affaires level as formal diplomatic ties. The UK does. The PRC consented to the exchange of ambassadors with the UK on March 13, 1972 and with The Netherlands on May 18, 1972. See Sino-British relations for further details.
^"Britain Recognizes Chinese Communists: Note delivered in Peking". The Times (London). January 7, 1950. p. 6. ISSN0140-0460.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^ abSerbia attempted to succeed but all other former Yugoslav Republics deferred the attempt, and no consensus was reached in the first period. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia est. 1992-02-28 was not granted successorship and was placed under international sanctions. In 2001 an Agreement on Succession Issues was signed and reached validity in 2004, by the provisions of that Agreement FRY is not the successor of SFRY. Serbia and Montenegro succeeded the United Nations seat of the FRY (joined the UN as a new member on 2000-11-01) "Succession" of recognition by Serbia, successor state of Serbia and Montenegro is due to international law inadmissible. Arbitration Commission of the Peace Conference on the former Yugoslavia Opinion No. 10 (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Serbia and Montenegro). In this decision, the Commission ruled that the FRY (Serbia and Montenegro) could not legally be considered a continuation of the former SFRY, but was rather a new state. Thus the European Community (and the UN) should not automatically recognize the FRY, but apply to it the same criteria applied to the recognition of the other post-SFRY states.
^ abSucceeded by the Republic of Yemen. Date of establishment of diplomatic relations was set back to September 24, 1956.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on October 13, 1971 after Burundi unilaterally severed relations on January 29, 1965.
^PRC had established diplomatic relations with the predecessors of Tanzania, Tanganyika and Zanzibar on December 9, 1961 and December 11, 1963, respectively.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on January 29, 1998. CAR resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on July 8, 1991.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on December 29, 1972. Benin resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC in April 1966.
^Diplomatic relations were raised to ambassadorial level on July 15, 1991.
^Senegal resumed diplomatic relations with the ROC on January 6, 1996. Ties with the PRC were severed from January 9, 1996, until October 25, 2005, when ties were resumed.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on August 6, 2006. Diplomatic relations were severed on August 15, 1997 after Chad resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on August 12, 1997.
^Diplomatic relations were severed on February 4, 1994. Burkina Faso resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on February 2, 1994.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on April 13, 1998. Guinea Bissau recognized the ROC on May 26, 1990.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on August 19, 1996. PRC suspended diplomatic relations on July 19, 1992 after Niger resumed ties with the ROC on June 30, 1992.
^Diplomatic relations were severed on July 25, 1995. Gambia resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on July 13, 1995.
^São Tomé and Príncipe established diplomatic relations with the ROC on May 6, 1997. The PRC suspended diplomatic relations on the same day.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on August 10, 1993. Liberia resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on October 9, 1989. Diplomatic relations with the PRC has been severed since September 9, 1997 because the Liberian Government's recognition of a "Two Chinas" Policy. However, the PRC and Liberia normalized their relations on October 11, 2003.
^Diplomatic relations were severed on November 29, 2003. Kiribati recognized the ROC on November 7, 2003.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on January 12, 1994. Lesotho resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on April 5, 1990.
^Diplomatic relations were restored on January 20, 2005. Grenada recognized the ROC on July 19, 1989.
^Diplomatic relations were severed on November 9, 1990. Nicaragua resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on November 6, 1990.
^Diplomatic relations were severed on October 23, 1989. Belize recognized the ROC on October 11, 1989.
^Diplomatic relations were severed on December 11, 1998. Marshall Islands recognized the ROC on November 20, 1998.
^Diplomatic relations were raised to ambassadorial level on February 6, 2006.
^Diplomatic relations were severed on May 5, 2007. St. Lucia resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on April 30, 2007.
^Diplomatic relations were severed on May 31, 2005. Nauru resumed diplomatic ties with the ROC on May 14, 2005.