"Taiwan must play an active role in international organizations. Membership in the UN is just one aspect of this. It is not the whole story," President Chen Shui-bian (
Last week Chen expressed a similar view at a symposium called "Taiwan NGOs: Marching Toward the 21st Century," at the Taipei International Convention Center.
On that occasion he said, "NGOs can play an influential role in international affairs and change the formerly state-guided approach to policymaking."
In response to China's objection's, Taiwan has had to adopt a twin strategy in the pursuit of its aim to rejoin the international community, consisting of official diplomacy on the one hand and broadening support for NGOs involved in international aid on the other.
"Medical aid would be the first priority for Taiwan's international aid," said Andrew Hsia (
"We hope to provide top notch medical aid to the world and thereby win international support for membership in the World Health Organization (WHO)," said Hsia.
The WHO has been considered the least politicized of UN agencies and hence is widely expected in Taiwan to be the first UN agency to accept Taiwan's membership.
Taiwan lost its WHO membership in 1971 when the PRC took over the ROC seat at the UN.
The US Congress passed an act last October to express its support for Taiwanese membership of the WHO. "But the prerequisite is that Taiwan present its medical aid credentials to the world," said a MOFA official who declined to be identified.
So far, there are less than ten NGOs in Taiwan providing medical assistance to developing countries on varying scales and in differing fashions. All provide only temporary relief, an approach widely considered by international groups as somewhat ineffective.
MOFA is the only Taiwan organization providing long-term medical aid, which it supplies to some African countries with which Taiwan has diplomatic relations.
From the mid 1990s, MOFA has signed understandings on medical cooperation with six African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Sao Tome and Principe, Malawi, Senegal and Gambia.
In accordance with the terms of such understandings, MOFA has also dispatched long-term medical teams consisting of between 5 and 15 people to Burkina Faso, Chad, Sao Tome and Principe and Malawi.
Both short-term aid provided by NGOs and long-term governmental aid are hampered, however, by the shortage of manpower in the medical profession.
MOFA has asked the Department of Health (DOH) to assist in the dispatch of eight to 10 doctors to African countries.
The DOH, however, responded, in April this year, saying that Taiwan is also short of doctors, making it very difficult to supply medical professionals for overseas aid.
"MOFA's recruitment of medical doctors to serve abroad is too shortsighted and does not consider these doctors' career plans," said Chen Chi-cheng (
The grading system for medical doctors causes difficulties for doctors who are considering working abroad, according to some doctors attending the symposium.
They added that, "medical education in Taiwan focuses far too little on issues relating to patient care, resulting in the fact that many doctors serving abroad do so for high salaries rather than out of a genuine concern to provide humanitarian aid."
"Humanitarian aid is also a professional field. Many Taiwanese doctors serving abroad are just a joke. They cause Taiwan to lose face," said a doctor who has performed aid duties overseas, "but when they come back to Taiwan, they behave like heroes."
"It does no good for Taiwan's reputation," he said, "MOFA has to be concerned about this."
Two Japanese virtual YouTubers (VTubers) were suspended by their employers on Sunday after mentioning Taiwan and showing the national flag during a livestream, stoking controversy that was inflamed further when it was discovered that their management company issued distinct apologies in Japanese and Mandarin. While reading YouTube analytics over livestream on Thursday and Friday last week, Hololive VTubers Kiryu Coco and Akai Haato named Taiwan as contributing a high percentage of viewers. Users on the Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili were quick to criticize the two and report their accounts, prompting Hololive’s parent company, Cover Corp, to suspend the streamers for three
NO SIGN OF WAR: Only if Taiwanese showed determination to defend the nation would others be willing to help in the event of a Chinese attack, the premier said Should China launch a war against Taiwan, the military would fight to the last standing person, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said yesterday, adding that the nation has fully fleshed-out defense strategies. “Beijing has continued its acts of provocation against Taiwan, but there are currently no signs that it is ready to launch a full-scale war,” Yen said at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Asked how long Taiwan could withstand an attack from China, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said: “Taiwan will not fall.” Any belligerent force that initiates acts of war would pay a heavy price, and so too would Beijing,
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
MOTHERLAND? Taiwanese who take part in China’s National Day celebrations could be fined NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 if found to have contravened Taiwanese laws The Ministry of Culture yesterday cautioned China-based Taiwanese artists against breaching Taiwanese law by taking part in China’s National Day celebrations. The ministry issued the statement following media reports that Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) is to sing a popular Chinese patriotic song titled My Motherland (我的祖國), and Angela Chang (張韶涵) is to sing Protect (守護) with Chinese entertainers at an event to mark China’s National Day on Thursday. The Mainland Affairs Council is investigating whether such behavior contravenes regulations in the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), the ministry said. If the behavior involves matters