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.”
ESPIONAGE CHARGE: A TAO spokesperson said that the rights of Shih Cheng-ping were ‘fully safeguarded’ during the hearing, which handed him four years in prison China sentenced Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a former National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) professor, to four years in jail for espionage, officials said yesterday. The ruling came a month after Shih made a televised “confession” on state media. Shih, who is also a former chief economist for Chinese conglomerate Huaxia Group (華夏集團), was found guilty by a Chinese court on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) told a news briefing. Shih — who vanished after traveling to China in August 2018 — was among Taiwanese who China Central Television (CCTV) last month showed confessing to spying. CCTV often broadcasts suspects admitting to crimes, even
TIMELINE QUESTIONS: Chen Shih-chung said: ‘If anyone could assure us that we could get the shots in the first quarter of next year, we could set off firecrackers’ Taiwan has secured nearly 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported five new imported infections among travelers from Indonesia and the Philippines. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that Taiwan on Monday signed a procurement contract with a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer and paid a deposit to secure 10 million doses. It was the first contract finalized with a manufacturer and negotiations are under way with three other vaccine makers, Chen said. With the more than 4.6 million doses that can be obtained through the COVAX platform —
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
SKIN, ENTRAILS: Placards also dotted the legislative chamber, with slogans such as ‘Oppose ractopamine pork — not US pork’ and ‘Much ado about nothing’ Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday pelted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) with pig skin and entrails as he addressed the Legislative Yuan on pork imports for the first time since the KMT’s boycott began on Sept. 18. Opposition lawmakers have been demanding an apology from the government for its decision to lift its ban on the importation of US pork containing residues of the livestock drug ractopamine. After Su arrived at 10am for his 13th attempt to deliver a regular policy report, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus moved to change the agenda to accommodate the premier. The motion resulted in cries of