A number of Western governments, with the US in the lead, protested to the UN in 2007 to force the global body and its secretary-general to stop using the reference “Taiwan is a part of China,” a cable recently released by WikiLeaks shows.
The confidential cable, sent by the US’ UN mission in New York in August 2007, said that after returning from a trip abroad, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had met then-US ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad to discuss a range of issues, including “UN language on the status of Taiwan.”
“Ban said he realized he had gone too far in his recent public statements, and confirmed that the UN would no longer use the phrase ‘Taiwan is a part of China,’” said the cable, which was sent to the US Department of State and various US embassies worldwide.
During a meeting with then-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on July 27 that year, Ban had defended the UN’s decision not to accept a renewed attempt by Taiwan to join the UN on July 23 by saying that UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 asserted that Taiwan was a part of the People’s Republic of China.
“Membership is given to a sovereign country. The position of the United Nations is that the People’s Republic of China is representing the whole of China as the sole and legitimate representative Government of China,” Ban had said in response to a question on Taiwan’s status. “The decision until now about the wish of the people in Taiwan to join the United Nations has been decided on that basis. The resolution that you just mentioned  is clearly mentioning that the Government of China is the sole and legitimate Government and the position of the United Nations is that Taiwan is part of China.”
The same month, the US was reported to have presented a nine-point demarche in the form of a “non-paper” to the then-UN under-secretary-general for political affairs restating the US view that it took no position on Taiwan’s sovereignty and rejected recent UN statements that the world body considers Taiwan for all intents and purposes to be an integral part of China.
The cable said that the UN missions of Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand had also consulted with the UN on the subject, adding that in reaction to the US demarche, the Canadian mission had followed with a demarche of its own and “received the same commitment that the UN would no longer use the phrase.”
It added that Australia had held similar low-level exchanges with the UN’s Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), while the Japanese mission had met OLA Assistant Secretary-General Larry Johnson, who confirmed “that in his most recent correspondence on this matter to the correspondence from the Solomon Islands and Swaziland he had dropped the unhelpful phrase.”
The US’ UN mission also urged New Zealand “to make clear to the UN that they too are monitoring the UN’s terminology and that they share USG [US government] concerns about the need for increased caution during the presidential campaign in Taiwan.”
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut