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Taiwan striving for membership in global organizations: U.S. magazine

2012/07/10 22:36:46

New York, July 9 (CNA) The National Review, a major U.S. magazine and website for Republican news, commentary and opinion, said Monday that Taiwan is striving for participation in international organizations.

While the Taiwanese people "share a resentment from being excluded from international organizations" and long for international recognition, the majority prefer to maintain the status quo rather than declaring independence, wrote the magazine's senior editor, Jay Nordlinger, in the article titled "Questions on Taiwan."

Many Taiwanese interviewed by Nordlinger hope the United States will help Taiwan "get into international organizations. Decrease our isolation in the world. Allow us to develop and participate like a normal country.”

Lin Chong-pin, a professor from Tamkang University's Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, noted that China prefers "the strangulation of our international space."

For instance, Taiwan has been denied observer status in the United Nations as a result of Chinese pressure, and Taiwanese journalists are even denied press credentials to cover the United Nations.

China has also barred Taiwan's access to uncontroversial global bodies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization.

What Taiwan can do for China, though, is serve as a model of peaceful democratization, said Yen Cheng-shen, a research fellow of National Chengchi University's Institute of International Relations.

"We can show them three things: that democracy is possible in Chinese culture; that democratization and economic growth can go hand in hand; and that democracy need not mean chaos," said Yen.

A Chinese dissident with whom Nordlinger is familiar once said Taiwan is his "favorite place" and that if Taiwan can have elections, freedom of expression, assembly and worship, and rule of law, there is no reason China cannot have these as well.

Nordlinger pointed out that some American academics and analysts have proposed "throwing Taiwan to the wolves" because relations with China are more important and the U.S. should not allow a small country to "disrupt relations with a coming superpower."

Although, Taiwan is a small and vulnerable democracy that is unable to count on the support of other democracies, these are "dark thoughts" that cannot be kept for long, wrote Nordlinger.

"Taiwan is too booming, too boisterous and too wonderful to allow dark thoughts for long," Nordlinger wrote.

He paraphrased a Taiwanese official who has said that the outcome of Taiwan-China relations is in the hands of "our children or grandchildren" in the distant future. In the meantime, the current generation will try to achieve harmony across the Taiwan Strait by keeping violence at bay and continuing to do so until the danger passes.

(By Leaf Chiang and C.J. Lin)