Mon, Nov 25, 2013 - Page 8

Can Taiwan copy Palestine?

A few days ago, a historic event took place at the UN General Assembly: The first vote since Palestine was given observer status.

Unity is the most crucial factor behind Palestine’s journey from the longstanding conflict with Israel to de facto independence and now UN observer status.

Taiwan, on the other hand, has to struggle for membership of international organizations, not to mention any level of participation in the UN.

Just like Palestine, Taiwan has a chaotic background with may parties tugging and pulling in different directions, but why has the nation been unable to achieve international recognition?

The political separation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, their mutual differences and isolation mean that the two will never meet, but no one wants to extract Taiwan from the quagmire left by history. The government clings to an outdated Constitution and claims that it has sovereignty over China.

The People’s Republic of China constantly tries to intimidate Taiwan into unification. Neither party is willing to face up to facts.

The desire to bring Taiwan into the UN has always existed, and ambitious people with lofty ideals have never given up the struggle toward that goal. The problem is that the struggle has always been suppressed and never received government recognition, which promotes unification and makes conditions for UN membership unfavorable. If it can not even create domestic unity on this issue, it is not strange that the international community ignores Taiwan.

Palestine was elevated from “observer entity” to “nonmember observer state” late last year, and it has now cast its historic first vote in the General Assembly. Will Taiwan be able to follow the same path and become a dignified member of the global village?

Yang Mien-chieh