Tue, Dec 25, 2018 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Greta, speak up for Taiwan

As readers of this newspaper know, due to the geopolitical pressure from the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, there is one tiny democratic country — Taiwan — that has every year been excluded from participating at the annual international climate change conference, no matter in what country the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change takes place.

This year it was Poland. Next year, COP25 is to take place in Chile from Nov. 11 to Nov. 22.

With headlines like “Teenage activist inspires school strikes to protest climate change after telling leaders they are ‘not mature enough,’” describing the way the brave Greta Thunberg has spoken out about the need to change the way politicians the world over have been immaturely dealing with climate change issues, would it not be a shock to see Greta stand in front of a microphone next year and speak directly to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and ask him to stop being so “immature” and allow Taiwan to join the international climate talks next year in Chile — if not as a direct participant, then at least as an official observer, with proper press passes for journalists from Taiwan covering the event in South America.

As Taiwan is not a member of the UN, it has been blocked by China from engaging in the many organizations and institutions of the UN, including meetings related to the annual COP climate conferences.

Taiwan was not allowed to take part in the COP24 in Poland this month, although a Taiwanese delegation of more than 60 representatives from different government agencies flew to Katowice to meet with participants on the “sidelines” of the conference.

During the conference, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs placed advertisements on buses and trams bearing the words “Combating climate change, Taiwan can help” to showcase the nation’s diplomatic “soft power.”

COP24 attracted about 18,000 “official” delegates from around the world, but sadly, Taiwan was not allowed to directly participate in the annual conference once again.

Thunberg could use her international speaking platform to tell China’s leader: “Xi Jinping, stop being immature. Tear down your walls of prejudice and bias. Let Taiwan in for the next round of COP talks in 2019.”

Greta could say, for all the world to hear: “I am annoyed by the UN’s action of refusing to allow Taiwan to even have observer status, due to pressure from communist China. Leaders of countries around the world should say to China: ‘Enough is enough.’ What the People’s Republic of China is doing is unacceptable. Once upon a time, communism was the common enemy, because many of us were democratic countries. Now because of economic concerns, leaders of the world and the UN are prepared to ‘sleep with the devil’ if necessary. They seem to forget that the institution that was set up to protect and put things in place to prevent a third world war is not doing the work it was destined to do. China is a country which fails to abide by human rights values, especially when it comes to the persecution of Muslim and Christian religious groups.”

Thunberg is the little girl that could. She has become an international superstar and more power to her.

Let us hope she speaks up for Taiwan’s right to participate in next year’s climate conference in Chile, COP 25.

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