Exclusive Mandate
An exclusive mandate is a government's assertion of its legitimate authority over a certain territory, part of which another government controls with stable, de facto sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

. It is also known as a claim to sole representation or an exclusive authority claim.

Federal Republic of Germany

For nearly all of its existence, the Federal Republic of Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 insisted on an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, claiming to be the sole legitimate successor to the German Reich that existed from 1871 to 1945. This claim was initially based solely on the government's mandate by virtue of free elections. In a statement made before the German Bundestag, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

 asserted this mandate as early as October 21, 1949, in response to the constitution of the German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 (GDR) coming into effect. The Secretary of State Summit of the three western powers on September 18, 1950 in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, supported Chancellor Adenauer's claim.

When the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 proclaimed the sovereignty of the GDR, the German Bundestag once again unanimously insisted upon its exclusive mandate to govern the entire German people. At the Treaties of Paris (Pariser Verträge), at which the Federal Republic of Germany was admitted into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the allied nations adopted the position which the three western allies had already confirmed at the Nine-Power Conference in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

: that the Federal Republic had the exclusive right to act on behalf of the entire German people in matters of foreign policy. The western nations thereby accepted the exclusive mandate of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Judicially, the claim was based on the view that the German state as a whole had been preserved, and that hence no two German states could exist. The German Democratic Republic was therefore merely German territory occupied by a Soviet puppet regime
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

, thus lacking autonomy. According to an alternate view, the GDR was in a state of civil war with the "actual" German government, based in Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, and therefore could not be recognized as a state under international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

. A third, the so-called "umbrella state" theory, entails the existence of two fragment states under the umbrella of a single German nation that had been formed in 1871 and which had never actually been annihilated; this theory arose in the late 1960s and was confirmed in a ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
The Federal Constitutional Court is a special court established by the Grundgesetz, the German basic law...

 of 31 July 1973 regarding the "Basic Treaty
Basic Treaty (1972)
The Basic Treaty is the short-hand name for the Treaty concerning the basis of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic...

" outlining principal neighborly relations between East and West Germany.

Aside from such considerations pertaining to international law, the reunification clause
Reunification clause
The Reunification clause was part of the preamble of the German Constitution. As a whole, it is known as the German Basic Law. The preamble was in force from 1949 until 1990.The preamble ended with the sentence:...

 of the Basic Law
Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany is the constitution of Germany. It was formally approved on 8 May 1949, and, with the signature of the Allies of World War II on 12 May, came into effect on 23 May, as the constitution of those states of West Germany that were initially included...

 suggested that international recognition of the German Democratic Republic was to be avoided, so as not to sever the constitutional mandate to a unified German state.

The exclusive mandate was reaffirmed in the Hallstein Doctrine
Hallstein Doctrine
The Hallstein Doctrine, named after Walter Hallstein, was a key doctrine in the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany after 1955. It established that the Federal Republic would not establish or maintain diplomatic relations with any state that recognized the German Democratic Republic...

, according to which the Federal Republic broke diplomatic relations with states that maintained diplomatic relations with the GDR, except for the Soviet Union.

Until 1973, asserting an exclusive mandate was a strictly observed policy, and the Federal Republic regarded the Democratic Republic as an unlawfully constituted state. Over time, especially after the administration's transition to a social-liberal coalition led by Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm , was a German politician, Mayor of West Berlin 1957–1966, Chancellor of West Germany 1969–1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1964–1987....

 in 1969, the exclusive mandate was softened, as it severely limited the Federal Republic's domestic and international autonomy. Starting in 1973, the Federal Republic took the line that the Democratic Republic was a de facto government within a single German nation, of which the Federal Republic was de jure the sole representative.

With the admission of both German states to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 in 1973, matters regarding the exclusive mandate were no longer relevant. Regardless, the Federal Republic of Germany did not recognize unique citizenship of the German Democratic Republic until the GDR ceased to exist in 1990, and generally considered East Germans to be German citizens under the old all-German citizenship (i.e. Bundesbürger, citizens of West Germany); refugees were therefore not deported.

In addition, visitors from the GDR would receive a West German passport upon request, for example, in order to ease travel to the United States. After the fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989, East Germans were greeted with Begrüßungsgeld
Begrüßungsgeld was, from 1970 until 29 December 1989, a gift from the government of the Federal Republic of Germany to visitors from the German Democratic Republic...

 (100 West German Deutsche Mark) and could travel freely within West Germany, while West German access to the East was still hindered for some weeks by visa and the Mindestumtausch mandatory minimum exchange of 25 DM.

German Democratic Republic (1949–90)

The constitution of the German Democratic Republic also acknowledged that Germany is an indivisible Republic, and thus only one German citizenship. The GDR, therefore, was also founded on the premise of being the de jure sovereign representative of all Germany. It regarded the West German regime as a NATO puppet state. In 1974, however, the reunification clause was stricken from the GDR's constitution. Thereafter, it regarded itself as a separate state from West Germany. The GDR erected the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 in 1961 partly to prevent Germans moving freely within Germany. The socialist state ceased to exist within a year after the fall of the wall in 1989 when its states joined the Federal Republic in the German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 of 1990.


Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland
Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland
Article 2 and Article 3 of the Constitution of Ireland were adopted with the constitution as a whole on 29 December 1937, but completely revised by means of the Nineteenth Amendment which took effect on 2 December 1999...

 as originally enacted in 1937 contained a territorial claim over the six counties of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, which lay under de facto British sovereignty (as they still do today). In particular, Article 2 stated that "[t]he national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland". This was regarded by unionists in Northern Ireland as an illegal extraterritorial claim, and encountered some hostility. Articles 2 and 3 were amended in 1999 as part of the Northern Ireland peace process to remove the explicit territorial claim: they now provide merely that "[i]t is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland... to be part of the Irish Nation". The Ulster Unionist Party
Ulster Unionist Party
The Ulster Unionist Party – sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or, in a historic sense, simply the Unionist Party – is the more moderate of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland...

 has accepted the revision of the articles, but the larger Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley and currently led by Peter Robinson, it is currently the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons of the...

 has not.

Mainland China and Taiwan

Since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 was limited to Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 (taken from Japan in 1945, ceded by Qing China in 1895) and a few islands near Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, while the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 controlled mainland China, and since 1950 also the Island of Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

. Both Chinese governments claimed sovereignty over all of China. Until 1971, the Republic of China was a permanent member
China and the United Nations
China's seat in the United Nations and membership of the United Nations Security Council was originally occupied by the Republic of China since October 24, 1945. During the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China repelled the government of the ROC from Mainland China to the island of...

 of the UN Security Council with veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 power. Since then, however, it was excluded in favor of the People's Republic of China, and since 1972, it was also excluded from all UN-subcommittees. Since the death of Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

 in 1975, Republic of China no longer aggressively asserts its exclusive mandate and most of the world's nations have since broken their official diplomatic ties with Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (except for 23 nations as of 2008). Nevertheless, most nations, as well as the People's Republic government, continue to maintain unofficial relations.

Since the 1990s, the stance of the Republic of China has softened. When the ROC established ties with Kiribati
Kiribati , officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The permanent population exceeds just over 100,000 , and is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres, straddling the...

 in 2003, it did not demand that Kiribati break its existing ties with the PRC. However, the PRC's stance has not softened and it does not maintain diplomatic relations with the 23 countries that recognize the ROC.


In 1948 North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 began to stake claims to sovereignty over all of Korea. Both states claimed that the other was an unlawfully constituted puppet state of the Soviet Union and the United States, respectively. In 1991, however, both nations joined the UN, as part of their reconciliation policy.


The Democratic Republic of Vietnam
North Vietnam
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

 was proclaimed in 1945; the Republic of Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 gained its independence from France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in 1954. North and South Vietnam both staked claims to all of Vietnam until South Vietnam unconditionally surrendered
Unconditional surrender
Unconditional surrender is a surrender without conditions, in which no guarantees are given to the surrendering party. In modern times unconditional surrenders most often include guarantees provided by international law. Announcing that only unconditional surrender is acceptable puts psychological...

 to North Vietnam in 1975.

When some European countries (such as Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

) started recognizing North Vietnam towards the end of the Vietnam war, South Vietnam did not interrupt its diplomatic relations with them. Switzerland thus recognized North Vietnam in 1971 but also turned its consulate in Saigon (South Vietnam) into an embassy until the end of the war in 1975.

See also

  • Hallstein Doctrine
    Hallstein Doctrine
    The Hallstein Doctrine, named after Walter Hallstein, was a key doctrine in the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany after 1955. It established that the Federal Republic would not establish or maintain diplomatic relations with any state that recognized the German Democratic Republic...

  • List of states with limited recognition
  • List of historical unrecognized countries
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