World War 2 is the fight against the Allied and Axis fought on the European front and the Pacific Theater.
For the people on the island of Taiwan, they fought for the Japanese Empire. While in modern day, Republic of China is nearly synonymous to Taiwan, during World War Two, Republic of China was on the Allied force while Taiwan, as being a part of the Japanese Empire, fought for the Axis.
During World War 2, many Taiwanese was drafted to fight in the Japanese Empire. Most notable may be both President Lee Teng-Hui and his brother Lee Teng-Chin. President Lee’s brother died during the war and is listed in the Yasukuni Shrine (a shrine for fallen soldiers during World War 2)
Three major events happened after World War 2 that determine a lot of relations between Taiwan and China, which opened the doors to later US Taiwan and US China relations.
General Order No. 1 (Issued: August 17, 1945)
Immediately after the war, General Order Number 1 was issued. Prior to having time to sit down for a formal treaty, orders for surrender was issued. In the treaty, it states:
The senior Japanese commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within China (excluding Manchuria), Formosa and French Inod-China, north of 16 degrees north latitude shall surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek
Treaty of San Francisco (Signed: September 8, 1951)
After a formal surrender, the United Nations set up a treaty for terms as an ending to World War 2. While the Allied forces came together for this, one player was missing. The Republic of China is still in a civil war with the People’s Republic of China. Unsure of the what would come out of it, the UN decided to not invite either parties.
“Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores”
This treaty is often referred to as a sign that Taiwan (named as Formosa here) is an independent country as it has been all powers have been renounced by it and no one has ownership of the island.
Treaty of Taipei (Signed: April 28, 1952)
One treaty often times left out is the Taipei Treaty (though for good reason.) Worried about the rise of communism, United States wanted to make sure a treaty was signed showing the surrender of Japan to Republic of China.
In this treaty, it reinforced articles mentioned in the Treaty of San Francisco but had extra points such as:
It is recognised that all treaties, conventions, and agreements concluded before 9 December 1941 between Japan and China have become null and void as a consequence of the war.
This would place the Treaty of Shimonoseki (1895) , which placed Taiwan within the Japanese Empire, null and void. This is a difference compared to the treaty of San Francisco as the San Francisco treaty was returning Japan to its territories as of December 1941 (as oppose to voiding all agreements before.)
However, this treaty was abrogated by the Japanese government on Sept. 29, 1972, upon Japan’s establishment of formal diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.