Thu, Oct 06, 2016 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Message to China

Today’s world features an array of international challenges, such that responsible states must place inclusive cooperation above petty and stubborn politics. Despite this, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has shown a worrying and increasing trend toward pursuing self-interest, even when it actively contravenes international norms, denigrates the spirit of inclusivity and undermines international safety and security.

The PRC’s efforts to exclude Taiwan from international organizations, notably the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Interpol, exemplify its brutish domination of Taiwan.

Taiwan’s development into a modern state, engaged internationally in the economic realm and dedicated at home to democracy and a free citizenry, contributes greatly to the world’s prosperity and security. Despite this, the PRC continues its assault on Taiwan, targeting not just its membership, but even its meaningful participation in international fora. The PRC blocked Taiwan from observing this month’s ICAO assembly and next month’s Interpol summit.

These moves have come as a personal disappointment. In the US Congress, I supported legislation to include Taiwan in the ICAO assembly and I authored a bill to support Taiwan’s access to Interpol, which was enacted into law this year. These organizations hold substantive international gatherings, dedicated to cooperative action to keep people safe. It makes good sense for Taiwan to have representation in these bodies. The benefits to the safety and security of the international community clearly outweigh political bickering.

The “one China” policy held by much of the world, including the US, was founded on the premise that stability and peace in Asia was generally more important than supporting any individual partner’s political recognition.

However, it is important to recognize that this arrangement is nothing more than a pragmatic bargain, one which is as incumbent upon Beijing to maintain as it is on the rest of the world, but this moment, the PRC believes it can continue accruing the benefits of this bargain while reneging on its obligations.

China’s marginalization of Taiwan in the international community is not unnoticed. The US Congress will continue to work to include Taiwan in important international organizations for its own sake, but also for the benefit of the world.

ICAO and Interpol are central to the safety and security of the world’s people and are being intentionally undermined by the PRC’s exclusion of a major actor in the global economy.

These organizations are no place for Beijing’s petty politics of symbolism. By intentionally sacrificing global safety and security for its own vanity, Beijing is playing politics with the safety of millions of people.

Matt Salmon

US representative from Arizona

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