As things developed, the ROC government was defeated militarily by the Chinese communists and went into exile across the Taiwan Strait in Taiwan. In 1949, the Communist Party of China declared itself the government of China, effectively usurping the role of the ROC.
Thereafter, the issue of who represented “China” at the UN could not be long suppressed. UNGA Resolution 2758 determined the “China Question” some 50 years ago in favour of the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC).
This Resolution did not state, however, that Taiwan was part of China, contrary to the repeated assertions of the PRC since then. Contrary to the PRC’s false claims, Resolution 2758 does not take a position on Taiwan, nor does it include the word “Taiwan”.
The long-term status quo is that the ROC (Taiwan) and PRC (Beijing) are separate jurisdictions; neither is subordinate to the other. The free citizens of Taiwan can be represented only by their freely elected government; the world’s only freely elected Chinese government.
The wrongful interpretation of UNGA Resolution 2758 has unjustly deprived Taiwan of the right to belong to the UN and its specialised agencies. And, despite Taiwan’s strenuous efforts to gain admission, it continues to be denied membership of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), among other UN agencies, because the communist PRC always vetoes its petitions to join.
Taiwan’s exclusion from the UN and its agencies, in the face of Beijing’s intransigent opposition, does not mean that Taiwan has not been active on the international scene.
Since the onset of the covid pandemic, Taiwan has provided medical supplies, including its home-grown vaccine, to allies around the world. It has sent more than 550 tonnes of relief supplies to the people of Ukraine since the Russian invasion, and has donated more than $50 million to help alleviate the suffering of Ukrainian refugees.
Taiwan is today, moreover, a key link in the global high-tech supply chain. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC), for example, is the world’s leading manufacturer of advanced semiconductors, also called computer chips.
Taiwan has a lot to offer. It is about time it was treated with justice in the organisation that was established to overcome the law of the jungle and protect the rule of law internationally.
Originally published at News Weekly. Photo by Timo Volz.