We defer to the United Nations geo-schema1<unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm> in general to list and organize nation states. We endeavor to include all fully independent and sovereign states in the report; while some disputed territories, overseas territories, dependencies, constituent countries, or non-self-governed territories are not included. If there is known information pertinent to a dependent state or territory, then this will be included under the country entries of the administering sovereign state or claimants. Exclusion neither means there are no issues nor that subsequent updates to the report might not include these territories under their own entries.
In full, the excluded non-self-governing nations or otherwise excluded territories are:
As with other administered territories, China’s Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions are considered under the China entry.
Kosovo, despite declaring independence, is excluded from the UN geo-schema as a transitional state, and there are extant claims by Serbia. Kosovo is nevertheless included in the report, as its independence is widely recognised and autonomously asserted.
Taiwan is not recognised by the United Nations (and is not included in the geo-schema). It is claimed by mainland China (“People’s Republic of China”) as a province, under its “one China” policy. Taiwan is included in this report as a discrete country.
We do not cover the pseudo-state of the “Holy See”.
The Palestinian territories were recognised as a non-member observer state by the UN General Assembly in 2012 and are unambiguously included in this report as a de jure state.
Out of respect for the dignity of subjugated North Koreans, and respect for basic semantic coherence, we do not refer to the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” but to “North Korea”.
References [ + ]