The nation’s diplomatic isolation was spotlighted in the legislature yesterday, as lawmakers voiced concern over a Taiwanese woman being denied entry to a UN-affiliated convention last week because she presented a Republic of China (ROC) passport.
Lawmakers grilled Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) about the ministry’s response.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Department of Women’s Development director Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) had been invited to attend a conference held by the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
However, she said that when she presented her passport for identification, a commission staff member told her: “Taiwan passport holders cannot enter. It is policy.”
Legislators across party lines raised concerns about the nation’s foreign relations, citing the government’s failed attempts to regain a seat in the UN and China’s efforts to diplomatically isolate Taiwan, including instances where the official names of Taiwanese non-governmental organizations have been rewritten to include the word “China.”
DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said that Lin Ching-yi had not been invited to the conference as an official delegate, but the commission denied her entry anyway.
He called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to boost its efforts to raise Taiwan’s international profile and gain diplomatic recognition from more countries.
People First Party Legislator Thomas Lee (李桐豪) asked why Lin Ching-yi was refused entry, saying that Control Yuan President Chang Po-ya (張博雅) was able to attend a UN conference using his ROC passport, although that happened a long time ago.
David Lin told lawmakers that China has used its influence in the UN to bar Taiwanese from participating in UN affairs for the past nine years, adding that Taiwanese have to present both their passport and national health insurance card to be accepted to a non-governmental organization convention.
Such bans have become more common after China gained more important positions at the UN and its people changed the rules, the minister said.
The ministry had lodged complaints against China’s actions via the US and Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, as it is “utterly unreasonable” to boycott Taiwanese participation in the activities of UN-affiliated non-governmental organizations, the minister said.
He called on Chinese authorities to stop doing things that “hurt the feelings of Taiwanese.”
Lin Ching-yi said that when she was preparing her application for a commission meeting four years ago, she was told that Taiwanese could not attend the meetings even if they had made outstanding achievements in gender issues.
An international non-governmental organization helped her file an application and secure an invitation for this year’s event, but she was still refused entry, she said.
It was ironic that she was discriminated against simply because of her nationality by an organization that promotes the elimination of gender inequality, she said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said