China’s prevention of Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO and other UN specialized institutions is misleading the world.
China always asserts that UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 established the so-called “one China principle,” in which Taiwan is a province of China. This is fake information that is part of China’s grand external propaganda strategy.
Resolution 2758 made clear that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the sole legitimate representative of China at the UN and its specialized institutions.
However, there is not a single word related to Taiwan in the resolution, no mention of the phrase “Taiwan is a province of China.”
China’s unilateral assertion, known as the “one China principle,” is nothing but an expansionist view aiming at grabbing strategic territory — Taiwan — and it is not the UN’s official position.
In 2007, the US delivered a “nine-point demarche,” sometimes also referred to as the “Non-Paper on the Status of Taiwan,” following an incorrect statement made by then-UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.
In the fifth and sixth points of the demarche, the US clearly stated: “The United States has become aware that the UN has promulgated documents asserting that the United Nations considers ‘Taiwan for all purposes to be an integral part of the PRC.’ While this assertion is consistent with the Chinese position, it is not universally held by UN member states, including the United States,” and “The United States noted that the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 adopted on 25 October 1971 does not establish that Taiwan is a province of the PRC.”
China has a legitimate right to protect its membership in the UN and its institutions, if Taiwan, a democratic country with a popularly elected government, challenges it as such. By the same token, China has no legal evidence to claim in the UN and its institutions that “Taiwan is a province of China.”
China’s representation in the UN and the status of Taiwan are parallel issues — the former was settled in 1971, while the latter is still pending.
Furthermore, if UN Resolution 2758 did not establish that “Taiwan is a province of China,” who gives the UN secretary-general and the heads of its specialized institutions the power to set a political rule that coincides with China’s position?
The practice of the UN’s specialized institutions to introduce this “Positive Consensus rule” over Taiwan is ultra vires (beyond the powers) — an act that requires legal authority, but is done without it — while the UN General Assembly requires majority decisions in a matter as critical as accepting a new member.
I would like to know who is giving the directors-general of the UN specialized institutions powers that are greater than that of the UN General Assembly?
HoonTing is a political commentator.
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