The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday said it would promote a bid for Taiwan to participate in the UN Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC) under its sovereign name with the collaboration of civic groups.
“President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pro-China position and his shelving of Taiwan’s sovereignty have resulted in people being confused about Taiwan’s sovereign status, which is why this initiative is imperative,” TSU Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) told a press conference.
The move comes amid controversy over the case of Chang Liang-yi (張良伊), a 24-year-old Taiwanese who was elected to represent UNFCCC youth non-governmental organizations during the 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP18) in Doha, Qatar.
The designation of Chang’s nationality on his candidate registration form as “Taiwan (Province of China)” drew a strong response from local lawmakers, who said it infringed upon Taiwan’s sovereignty. While Chang said the country name was printed without his consent, several media outlets reported that Chang changed the name from “Taiwan” in exchange for China’s support in the election.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs subsequently canceled the subsidy it gave to Chang.
Lin said the ministry should not shirk its responsibilities of safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty and assisting Taiwanese participation in international affairs.
The lawmaker demanded that the ministry lodge a formal complaint to the UNFCCC about the name change.
David Liang (梁光中), the deputy director of the ministry’s Department of Treaty and Legal Affairs, reiterated that the ministry encouraged and would assist all international participation without sacrificing sovereignty.
The ministry was unable to help Chang because he did not inform it about the issue before or after the election, Liang said.
Chang on Wednesday night said that he would resign from his post if he did not receive a positive response on the listing of his nationality by Jan. 15.
Representatives of civic groups at the press conference, including Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan chairman Wu Shu-min (吳樹民), said the push for a bid under the name of Taiwan was necessary.