13 Countries that Recognize Taiwan in 2024: Beyond Beijing


Taiwan, with its bustling capital Taipei and rich cultural heritage, is an intricate blend of past and present. This island nation’s geopolitical status has always been a topic of heated debate, attracting intrigue and attention from around the globe. 

Interestingly, while getting into geopolitics, it’s also essential to note that many of these nations, including Taiwan, are renowned for their excellent healthcare, similar to those listed in the ranking of top healthcare systems globally. As 2024 unfolds, the world watches with bated breath, hoping for peaceful resolutions and mutual respect among nations.

Is Taiwan a Sovereign Nation?

In the complicated matrix of international relations, Taiwan’s status as a sovereign nation has seen its ups and downs. Many hinge the recognition of a country on its acceptance by the United Nations’ member states. As of April 2022, only a handful of countries and the Vatican City recognize Taiwan as a sovereign entity, making the answer to “Is Taiwan a country?” both fascinating and multi-layered.

The History of Recognition

Country Recognition Status Year Relations Established Year Relations Severed
Guatemala Yes 1933 ongoing
Haiti Yes 1956 ongoing
Paraguay Yes 1957 ongoing
Eswatini Yes 1968 ongoing
Belize Yes 1989 ongoing
Saint Lucia Yes 2007 ongoing
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Yes 1981 ongoing
Saint Kitts and Nevis Yes 1983 ongoing
Marshall Islands Yes 1998 ongoing
Palau Yes 1999 ongoing
Nauru Yes 2005 ongoing
Tuvalu Yes 1979 ongoing
Vatican City Yes 1942 ongoing
India No 1947 1949
United States No 1928 1979
Pakistan No 1947 1950
Brazil No 1928 1974
Russia No 1929 1949
Mexico No 1928 1971
Japan No 1930 1972
Philippines No 1947 1975
Egypt No 1942 1956
DR Congo No 1960 1973
Vietnam No 1955 1975
Iran No 1920 1971
Turkey No 1934 1971
Germany No 1955 1972
Thailand No 1946 1975
United Kingdom No 1928 1950
France No 1928 1964
South Africa No 1912 1998
Italy No 1928 1970
Myanmar No
Colombia No 1941 1980
South Korea No 1949 1992
Spain No 1928 1973
Argentina No 1945 1972
Iraq No 1942 1958
Afghanistan No 1944 1950
Poland No 1929 1949
Canada No 1941 1970
Saudi Arabia No 1946 1990
Peru No 1913 1971
Malaysia No 1964 1974
Madagascar No 1960 1972
Ivory Coast No 1963 1983
Venezuela No 1941 1974
Cameroon No 1960 1971
Niger No 1963 1996
Australia No 1941 1972
Burkina Faso No 1961 2018
Sri Lanka No 1948 1950
Malawi No 1966 2008
Romania No 1939 1949
Chile No 1915 1971
Chad No 1962 2006
Ecuador No 1946 1971
Senegal No 1960 2005
Netherlands No 1928 1950
Cambodia No 1953 1975
Rwanda No 1962 1972
Bolivia No 1919 1985
Belgium No 1928 1971
Jordan No 1957 1977
Dominican Republic No 1941 2018
Cuba No 1913 1960
Sweden No 1928 1950
Honduras No 1985 2021
Czech Republic No 1930 1949
Greece No 1929 1972
Papua New Guinea No 1999 1999
Portugal No 1928 1975
Togo No 1960 1972
Austria No 1928 1971
Switzerland No 1913 1950
Sierra Leone No 1963 1971
Laos No 1958 1962
Serbia No 1945 1955
Nicaragua No 1930 2021
Libya No 1959 1978
Bulgaria No 1947 1949
El Salvador No 1941 2018
Republic of the Congo No 1960 1964
Denmark No 1928 1950
Central African Republic No 1962 1998
Finland No 1919 1944
Norway No 1928 1950
Liberia No 1957 2003
Lebanon No 1954 1971
New Zealand No 1912 1972
Costa Rica No 1941 2007
Mauritania No 1960 1965
Panama No 1912 2017
Kuwait No 1963 1971
Uruguay No 1957 1988
Jamaica No 1962 1972
Gambia No 1968 2013
Botswana No 1966 1974
Gabon No 1960 1974
Lesotho No 1966 1994
Guinea Bissau No 1990 1998
North Macedonia No 1999 2001
Latvia No 1936 1994
Estonia No 1937 1940
Cyprus No 1960 1972
Solomon Islands No 1983 2019
Luxembourg No 1949 1972
Malta No 1967 1972
Maldives No 1966 1972
Bahamas No 1989 1997
Vanuatu No 2004 2004
Barbados No 1967 1977
Sao Tome and Principe No 1997 2016
Samoa No 1972 1975
Kiribati No 2003 2019
Grenada No 1989 2005
Tonga No 1972 1998
Dominica No 1983 2004

According to the JSTOR, Taiwan, once recognized as a country by the United Nations from 1949 to 1971, lost this status due to intricate political developments with China. In the game of diplomatic musical chairs, countries have switched their recognition back and forth between them.

  • Belize: Established relations in 1989 and continues to recognize.
  • Guatemala: Has recognized since 1933.
  • Haiti: Established relations in 1956.
  • Holy See (Vatican City): Has been in relation since 1942.And the list goes on. However, the international tussle between the US and China regarding Taiwan has added layers of complexity to this topic. The US, despite not officially recognizing Taiwan since 1979, maintains a cordial relationship, often causing friction with China.

The Politics Behind Non-Recognition

Taiwan and China

Taiwan’s non-recognition is deeply rooted in its history. As per University Of Michigan, Taiwan underwent numerous territorial shifts, from being self-governing in the early 1600s to colonization by the Dutch, and later by China and Japan. The end of World War II saw Taiwan back under Chinese control.

But the political upheavals in China, leading to the Chinese Civil War, changed fate. The war saw the nationalist government fleeing to Taiwan, while the mainland came under the Communist Party’s control.

The tug of war for the rightful claim to represent China started, initially having the upper hand. However, over the years, most countries, including the United States, shifted their recognition from Taiwan to mainland China, leading to Taiwan’s ousting from the United Nations in 1971.

The Great Wall of China’s Influence


China’s influence in preventing Taiwan from gaining recognition is undeniable. According to international political analysts, China’s position in the U.N. Security Council, where it’s one of the five permanent members, gives it the leverage to block Taiwan’s attempts to gain full member status. China’s “One-China policy” further complicates matters.

This policy dictates that countries can’t have official diplomatic ties with both China and Taiwan, forcing nations to choose. Given China’s economic and political weight, the scales tilt overwhelmingly in its favor.

Stance and Global Position

In this delicate geopolitical dance, where does itself stand?

Perspective on China

Perspective is divided between two main camps: The Pan-Blue Coalition and the Pan-Green Coalition. 

  • The Pan-Blue Coalition views the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the rightful representative of all of China, including the mainland. However, its stance has evolved from reunification with China to maintaining the status quo.
  • The Pan-Green Coalition envisions as an independent sovereign state and vehemently opposes reunification unless China’s communist regime collapses.

World Stage

Despite the challenges, they have carved a niche for itself on the global stage. According to Financial Times, they stand as one of Asia’s significant economic pillars and is a world leader in computer technology production.

The Changing Dynamics of 2024

As we advance further into 2024, it’s crucial to understand the evolving dynamics and the countries that have made shifts in their recognition.

New Recognitions and Shifts

China Solomon Island

As Per Council Of Foreign Relations, some nations have re-evaluated their stance in 2024:

  • Solomon Islands: After aligning with the One-China policy for a few years, the Solomon Islands reverted to recognizing in 2024. This switch can be attributed to impressive democratic progress and the shared values both countries uphold concerning human rights and regional cooperation.
  • Kiribati: Following the Solomon Islands, Kiribati too shifted its allegiance back to China after briefly recognizing. The reason behind this move might be rooted in the significant economic incentives and infrastructural support that Beijing has offered as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.
  • India: India, historically, has not officially recognized due to its diplomatic ties with China. However, in 2024, while still not officially recognizing, India has amplified its trade relations and defense cooperation. This increased engagement is indicative of the nuanced nature of their relations against the backdrop of the broader India-China dynamics.

Factors Influencing Changes

Multiple factors are contributing to this evolving landscape:

  1. Economic Dependencies: With Taiwan being a technological hub, especially in semiconductor manufacturing, many countries are weighing the economic advantages of bolstering ties with Taiwan.
  2. Geopolitical Dynamics: The geopolitical chessboard is continually shifting. Regional alliances, defense pacts, and international incidents play a pivotal role in a country’s decision to recognize Taiwan.
  3. Internal Politics: Domestic political scenarios and public sentiment also shape foreign policy decisions. In some countries, pro-Taiwan sentiments have been on the rise, pushing governments to re-evaluate their diplomatic stances.

Implications for Taiwan

These shifts and realignments can have profound implications:

  • Diplomatic Wins: Every new recognition strengthens their case for wider acceptance on the global stage.
  • Economic Opportunities: Enhanced ties, even if unofficial, open up trade, investment, and technology exchange avenues for Taiwan.
  • Security Concerns: With each diplomatic shift, the risk of tension with mainland China increases. Taiwan needs to tread cautiously, balancing its aspirations with the pragmatic realities of the region.

Conclusion: The Road Ahead

The question of recognition is not merely a black-and-white issue of international acceptance. It’s a tapestry woven with threads of history, geopolitics, economics, and human aspirations.

As 2024 unfolds, the world watches with bated breath, hoping for peaceful resolutions and mutual respect among nations.

Whatever the future holds, Taiwan’s resilience and tenacity remain an inspiration for territories and countries globally, vying for their rightful place in the sun.


Why doesn’t the UN recognize Taiwan as a country?

The UN does not recognize Taiwan primarily due to the One-China policy pushed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). China asserts that Taiwan is an integral part of its territory, and as a powerful member of the UN Security Council, it has been able to prevent Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN.

How does the average Taiwanese feel about their country’s status?

While sentiments vary, many Taiwanese people take pride in their unique cultural and political identity. Some advocate for official recognition of Taiwan as a separate nation, while others are more cautious due to the potential consequences with China.

What are Taiwan’s main industries and economic strengths?

Taiwan is a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing and electronics. It also has strong sectors in petrochemicals, machinery, and biotechnology.

Why do countries switch their recognition between Taiwan and China?

Often, the switch is influenced by economic incentives, diplomatic pressures, and geopolitical strategies. China often offers economic incentives or aid packages to countries to persuade them not to recognize Taiwan.

Do people identify as Chinese?

While there’s a shared cultural and historical background, a growing number of people in Taiwan, especially the younger generation, identify primarily as Taiwanese rather than Chinese.

Why doesn’t Europe recognize Taiwan?

European countries, by and large, adhere to the “One-China” policy, a diplomatic acknowledgment that asserts Taiwan as an inalienable part of China’s territory. This position is influenced by diplomatic pressures, economic incentives, and strategic relationships with China, which is a significant trading partner for many European nations.

Why can’t Taiwan become a country?

Technically, Taiwan operates like an independent country with its own government, military, and borders. However, its official recognition as a sovereign nation is complicated by the One-China policy. China’s influence in international organizations, especially in the UN Security Council where it holds veto power, prevents official recognition on the global stage.

How many allies has It lost?

Since the UN’s decision to recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the legitimate representative of China in 1971, Taiwan has gradually lost diplomatic allies. By 2022, only 13 countries and the Vatican officially recognized Taiwan. Over the years, several nations have switched their recognition from Taiwan to China, primarily due to economic incentives and diplomatic pressures from Beijing.

Does Taiwan have any allies?

Yes, as of 2022, 13 countries and the Vatican City officially recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation. While the number of countries is limited, many other nations, like the United States, maintain unofficial relations with Taiwan, engaging in trade, investment, and other exchanges without formal diplomatic recognition.


Final Words

The diplomatic dance around Taiwan’s recognition is as intricate as it is compelling. It tells a tale of a nation’s struggle for identity, recognition, and respect in the international community. The nuances of this journey reflect the complexities of geopolitics, historical ties, and the undying spirit of the Taiwanese people.

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