The foreign relations of Taiwan, constitutionally and officially the Republic of China (ROC), are the relations between the Republic of China and other countries. The Republic of China is recognized by 20 United Nations member states, as well as by the Holy See. The ROC maintains diplomatic relations with those countries, as well as unofficial relations with 57 UN member states via its representative offices and consulates. Those diplomatic relations do not constitute an international acceptance of Taiwan as a state, but rather represent a recognition of the ROC government as the representative of China.
The Republic of China participated in the 1943 Moscow Conference, the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and was a charter member of the United Nations. In 1949, the Nationalists lost the Chinese Civil War in mainland China and retreated to Taiwan. Despite the major loss of territory, the ROC continued to be recognized as the legitimate government of China by the UN and by many non-Communist states. In 1971, the UN expelled the ROC and transferred China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC). In addition to the ad tempus recognition of the ROC by a majority of countries before UN Resolution 2758, the Republic of China lost its membership in all the intergovernmental organizations related to the UN. As the UN and related organizations like International Court of Justice are the most common venues for effective execution of international law and serve as the international community for states in the post-World War II period, a majority of the countries aligned with the West in the Cold War terminated diplomatic relations with the ROC and recognized quid pro quo of the PRC instead.