Why Taiwan people deserve UN voice

Joseph Wu's picture

Sadly, Taiwan is unable to participate in the world's largest and most important forum of global co-operation due to relentless suppression by the People's Republic of China (PRC). . .

The global community is confronting a number of unprecedented crises: from the ongoing challenge of COVID-19 variants and stalled efforts on climate change, to supply chain disruptions and Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.


Now more than ever, China's increasing rhetorical and military intimidation is jeopardising regional peace and stability.


As United Nations members meet again in New York this year, it is worth reminding these leaders that all people--including the people of Taiwan--deserve to have their voices heard and to be part of the collaborative effort to tackle challenges for the global good.


Taiwan is a valuable partner that can help overcome these global challenges.


Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has provided humanitarian support across the globe, as well as developing and sharing its homegrown vaccine.


Taiwan also sent over 550 tons of relief supplies to the people of Ukraine following the Russian invasion of their country, in addition to making more than US$40 million in donations for Ukrainian refugees.


Taiwan is committed to combatting climate change, with a blueprint for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and policies in place to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


As the world's 22nd-largest economy in terms of GDP and a major semiconductor manufacturer, Taiwan plays a key role in global supply chains. And as a defender of democracy, Taiwan is working to safeguard the status quo and support the rules-based international order.


While China is using coercion to export its brand of authoritarianism abroad, Taiwan lets its free and open society lead by example.


Sadly, Taiwan is unable to participate in the largest and most important forum of global co-operation due to relentless suppression by the People's Republic of China (PRC).


By deliberately conflating its "One China" principle with  UNGA Resolution 2758 -- the resolution that determined who represents "China" in the organisation some 50 years ago -- Beijing is misleading the world by spreading the fallacy that Taiwan is a part of the PRC.


Contrary to these false claims, the resolution does not take a position on Taiwan, nor does it include the word "Taiwan."


The long-term status quo is

that the ROC (Taiwan) and the PRC are separate jurisdictions, with neither subordinate to the other.

The people of Taiwan can only be represented in the international community by their free and democratically-elected government.


The wrongful interpretation of UNGA Resolution 2758 has long deprived Taiwan of the right to participate in the United Nations and its specialised agencies, denying the international community of an opportunity to benefit from Taiwan's contributions.


Worse, the PRC's efforts to rewrite Taiwan's status at the UN further undermine global peace and stability.


Beijing's recent dangerous military manoeuvres surrounding Taiwan are a case in point.


The UN Charter states clearly that the purposes and principles of the United Nations are to maintain international peace and stability, and that international disputes should be resolved by peaceful means. Beijing, however, continues to conduct military exercises in areas around Taiwan, undermining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, escalating tensions, impacting international trade and transportation and putting regional peace and security at risk.


Such irresponsible actions need to be condemned and brought to a halt. Given the current circumstances, it is even more important that the United Nations and its member states stop allowing such a member -- ironically a member of the UN Security Council -- to dictate the positions of the organisation to suit its own political agenda.


Acquiescing to China's wrongful claims over Taiwan will only destabilise the region.


Taiwan will resolutely defend its sovereignty and security.


But as a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan will also continue to exercise restraint in response to China's provocations, and work together with like-minded countries to uphold peace and stability in the region.


As we have shown the world over the years, we will continue to fulfil our international responsibilities by actively engaging with and contributing to the international community.


The theme of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, "A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges" pointedly reminds us of the grave challenges facing the international community: the COVID-19 pandemic; food and energy shortages; disrupted global supply chains; climate change. The list goes on.


When the UN talks about "joint solutions" and "solidarity" to tackle "interconnected crises", we could not agree more.


Taiwan is more than willing and able to be part of such joint solutions. And the 23.5 million resilient Taiwanese people surely should not be excluded from such important global efforts.



Joseph Wu is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan).