International law is that body of rules and principles binding upon states in their relations with other states. Although there is dispute as to the applicability of international law to entities other than states, it is clear that states are direct subjects of international law. The sole medium through which a state can act internationally is its government. Recognition of a government is an acknowledgment that that government is the agent of the state which it purports to represent. Refusal to recognize a government is pre-eminently a denial of its claim to act for the state; and when the unrecognized government is in exclusive control of the apparatus of state, nonrecognition is tantamount to denial of the international personality of the state itself.
Robert S. Barker,
The United States and Communist China: The Dilemma of Nonrecognition,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol3/iss2/7