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We request the readers of these pages to write to the Secretary-general of the UN, Mr. Kofi Annan, and urge him to support Taiwan's entry into the UN.
part of this new policy, the international community needs to express
<Above> Taiwanese People In 511 Movement
the past few years, the months of September and October have become the
highlight for the annual "Taiwan into the UN" campaign. Right
now, a world body that was set up on the basis of the principle of
universality is still excluding a free, democratic and independent nation
of 23 million people.
establishment of the United Nations in 1945 started a new era and long
series of declarations of independence in Asia and Africa. Because of a
coincidence of history -- the occupation of Taiwan by Chiang Kai-shek's
armies fled from China -- the Taiwanese people were not able to join the
international family of nations as an independent nation right away.
the past four decades, the Taiwanese have, through their hard work and
ingenuity, achieved one of the most prosperous economies of East Asia, and
also brought about an almost full-fledged democracy. If we may paraphrase
Christopher Reeve's speech at the Democratic Convention in Chicago: "Taiwanese
frequently achieve the impossible."
international observers argue that we should not raise the Taiwan issue,
saying that Taiwan's entry into the UN is impossible because China has a
permanent seat in the Security Council and will block any attempt to let
Taiwan join the UN.
believe that such a position is indefensible and utterly wrong: the
world should not let itself be intimidated by a repressive and dictatorial
Republic of China. It should stand up for the principles on which the United
was founded: freedom, democracy, equal rights and self-determination of
particular Western nations, which seem so eager to trade with China, have
the moral obligation to make it clear to China that its acceptance as a
full partner in the international community hinges on its recognition of
Taiwan as a friendly neighbor.
The UN, a "universal organization”?
needs to be emphasized time and again that Taiwan fulfills all basic
requirements of a nation-state: it has a defined territory, a population
of 23 million (greater than that of three quarters of the UN member
nations), and a government which exercises effective control over
the territory and the population.
is it important that this de-facto independent country becomes a member of
the UN? First, because of the original principles of the UN itself: the
world body was founded on the principles of universality and
self-determination. If the UN
to survive as an institution that safeguards world peace, it is essential
that it adheres to these principles, and applies them to the case of
second reason for supporting Taiwan's membership in the UN is that this
further emphasizes that Taiwan's future is an international issue,
to be dealt with by the international community, and not an "internal
problem" for the "Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan
Straits" to decide on. The responsibility of the international
community stems from the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1952, which decided
that Japan ceded its sovereignty over Taiwan, and that the future status
of Taiwan was to be decided in due time "in accord with the purposes
and principles of the Charter of the United Nations." Certainly in
those days, this term could have only one meaning: "independence."
third reason for supporting Taiwan's entry into the UN is that over the
past decade Taiwan has -- due to the hard work of the democratic
opposition and the overseas Taiwanese community -- achieved a
democratic political system. This argument is especially relevant
for the United States and Europe. It would be indefensible, for the West
to deny UN membership to a free and democratic nation, while condoning the
presence of repressive, undemocratic nations such as China, Iraq, Iran,
etc. This would be a flagrant violation of basic democratic principles.
No old rival, but new neighbor
needs to be emphasized strongly that this new Taiwan is totally different
from the old so-called "Republic of China" which left the United Nations in 1971. As we
argued before: Resolution 2758 dealt with the question that was
representing China in the United Nations. It did not deal with the
question of Taiwan's representation, which is a separate issue, to be
dealt with as a follow up on the decisions of the San Francisco Peace
Treaty of 1951-52.
China, the new Taiwan is thus not the old rival from the days of the
Chinese Civil War on the mainland (a myth perpetuated by the Kuomintang
authorities for many decades), but a new neighbor, which wants to live in
peace with all its neighbors, including China.
thus appeal to the rest of the world, and particularly the United States
and Europe, to live up to the principles of universality and democracy on
which the United Nations were founded, accept Taiwan as a full and equal
partner, and recognize it under the heading of a new "One Taiwan, One
"One Taiwan, One China" policy would not alter international
recognition of the government in Beijing as the rulers of People’s Republic of
China, but it should specifically refer to the provisions of the San
Francisco Peace Treaty of 1952, in which the members of the United Nations
decided that "...the future status of Taiwan will be decided in
accord with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United
is a free and peace-loving country, and its democratically elected
government is the only one that represents the interests and wishes of the
people of Taiwan. Now that the United Nations has welcomed East Timor and
Switzerland, Taiwan is the only nation not represented in the global
assembly. The United Nations' exclusion of Taiwan violates the principles
and spirit of the UN Charter, in particular the fundamental principle of
universality, and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations speaks powerfully
of the United Nation mission to "reaffirm faith in fundamental human
rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights
of men and women and of nations large and small". This language
clearly articulates the principle of universality, for all peoples and all
nations. Furthermore, Article 4 of the Charter invites "all other
peace-loving states" to join the Organization.
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