Beijing has inaccurately interpreted a UN resolution adopted in 1971 to exclude Taiwan from the international organization and its affiliates, a US Department of State official said on Thursday.
“The People’s Republic of China [PRC] has misused Resolution 2758 to prevent Taiwan’s meaningful participation,” said Rick Waters, deputy assistant secretary of state in the department’s Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, during a virtual talk hosted by the Washington-based German Marshall Fund.
Waters said that Taiwan’s exclusion from UN activities “creates an immense cost” to the nation, as well as the bloc’s members, adding that “Beijing is denying the international community the ability to gain valuable contributions that Taiwan offers.”
In the resolution adopted on Oct. 25, 1971, the UN General Assembly decided to “expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it.”
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the US for firmly supporting Taiwan’s bid to join UN organizations.
“The Republic of China is a democratic country with independent sovereignty,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the nation and the PRC are not subordinate to each other.
Only an elected government in Taiwan can represent its 23.5 million people on international occasions, including the UN, the ministry said.
The resolution only addressed the PRC’s representation in the UN without authorizing it to represent Taiwan, nor did it mention that Taiwan is part of the PRC, it said.
The PRC has been intentionally abusing the resolution to pressure the UN into excluding Taiwanese from its system, it added.
The ministry denounced Beijing prioritizing its political maneuvers over the interests of global cooperation, while calling on international society to face China’s “overt plot” against Taiwan.
The government would continue to bolster its cooperation with the US and other like-minded countries to expand Taiwan’s international space, and defend the shared values of democracy, freedom and a rules-based international order, the ministry said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said that support from a high-ranking US official would benefit Taiwan’s UN bid, either in terms of aiding its appeal or gaining the moral high ground.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Charles Chen (陳以信) said that under former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, Taiwan participated as an observer at the World Health Assembly — the WHO’s decisionmaking body — for eight years.
It shows the nation could make a breakthrough by endorsing the so-called “1992 consensus,” he said, adding that rejoining the UN under the name the Republic of China should be a priority.
The “1992 consensus” — a term that former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
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