Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Taiwan's Bid For United Nations Membership

Today Taiwan's bid for UN membership comes up for discussion at the UN general comittee, which will decide whether or not it will be put before the general assembly. Why is Taiwan not in the UN (or a member of the World Health Organisation, WHO)? At the end of the Chinese civil war Mao's communists took over all of mainland China and Chiang Kai Shek's nationalists were left with only Taiwan and a few small islands. However, the Nationalist government retained the China seat at the UN under it's official name of "Republic of China", while Mao's "Peoples Republic of China" had no representation. This changed in 1971 when the UN gave the People Republic the China seat and expelled the Republic of China aka Taiwan. For the past fifteen years Taiwan has annually applied for membership under the name "Republic of China" and has been denied entry, mainly because nobody wants to upset mainland China, also many countries have a "one China" policy, and because China has a seat on the security council so can veto it anyway. This year is different, Taiwan is applying under the name "Taiwan" for the first time. It fulfils all the requirements needed to be considered a nation state. There is absolutely no reason for Taiwan not to be granted membership of the UN. Apart from geopolitics and Chinese pressure. The bid is bound to fail as China is sure to veto it if it even gets as far as the security council. China has also in the past few days increased it's vitriolic rhetoric threatening Taiwan with military action if it makes any move to formal independence. China still regards Taiwan as part of it's sovereign territory and repeatedly threatens to take Taiwan by force if Taiwan moves toward formal independence. Hopefully the bid will make it as far as the general assembly so as to gain some wider exposure. Taiwan is a nation of some 23 million people, but UN reports, figures, statistics do not include any information or data regarding Taiwan. It is a ridiculous stuation supported by Western governments afraid of upsetting an increasingly powerful China.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I'll be keeping my finger's crossed for a good result.