Resolution 'misused' by Beijing to block Taiwan at U.N.: U.S. official

10/22/2021 07:13 PM
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U.N. headquarters in New York. CNA file photo
U.N. headquarters in New York. CNA file photo

Washington, Oct. 21 (CNA) Beijing has inaccurately interpreted a United Nations resolution adopted in 1971 to exclude Taiwan from playing a role in the international organization and its affiliates, an official with the United States Department of State said 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 at the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, during a virtual talk that examined the implications of the U.N. decision for Taiwan.

Waters said the exclusion of Taiwan from U.N. activities "creates an immense cost" to Taiwan as well as the bloc's members.

"Beijing is denying the international community the ability to gain valuable contributions that Taiwan offers," he noted at the event hosted by the Washington-based German Marshall Fund (GMF).

With cross-Taiwan Strait relations becoming increasingly strained, Beijing has ramped up its pressure on the U.N. and its affiliated agencies to prevent Taiwan's participation, often citing Resolution 2758.

At a press briefing in May, Hua Chunying (華春瑩), a spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry, said the issue of Taiwan's participation in international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), should be handled according to the "one-China" principle, which is a guiding principle established by Resolution 2758.

Under the one-China principle, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.

The resolution decided "to restore all its rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it."

The resolution decided the issue of China's representation in the U.N., but the matter of Taiwan's participation in the international organization remains unresolved, GMF's Asia Program Director Bonnie Glaser commented.

Beijing's "deliberate distortion of the resolution" should be challenged by countries around the world that support Taiwan's meaningful participation in the U.N. and its agencies, she added.

Taiwan's deputy representative to the U.S., Wang Liang-yu (王良玉), echoed the analyst's view, saying the resolution has often been "wrongly cited" by China to exclude Taiwan's participation in the U.N. meetings and activities.

It is "actually a perfect textbook example of how China uses its influence to exert its will over the U.N. system," she said.

The Republic of China, as Taiwan is officially known, has not been a member of the United Nations since the resolution was passed in 1971.

It has not been invited as an observer to the annual World Health Assembly - the U.N. health agency's decision-making body - except for between 2009 and 2016, and it has participated only once, in 2013, at the triennial assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

At the same time, Taiwan's government has campaigned for the island's participation in the U.N. system, including its meetings, mechanisms, and activities, while urging the WHO and ICAO to include Taiwan.

Alexander Huang (黃介正), an associate professor at Tamkang University, told CNA in Taipei on Friday it may have been the first time that a U.S. government official took a stance on the U.N. resolution.

It remains to be observed whether other U.N. members will back Waters' statement, he said.

(By Stacy Hsu, Chung Yu-chen and Teng Pei-ju)

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