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Tuesday, September 08, 2009


The people of Taiwan want to join the UN, but the Ma government doesn't

In a statement dated last Friday, September 4, 2009, the officials at Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released some information to the media.

An AFP news item titled "Taiwan not seeking UN membership this year" reported that:
Taiwan won't attempt to seek UN membership this year, officials said Friday, in a move one observer said was aimed at patching up ties with Beijing after the Dalai Lama's visit.

"Instead of asking our allies to submit a proposal to join the United Nations, we will seek other kinds of meaningful participation," said a foreign ministry official.

"It is a change of method but we will not give up the Taiwan people's right to join the UN."


Last year, Taipei made an attempt to join the World Meteorological Organization and other specialised UN agencies rather than seeking full UN membership.
Here are some of my observations derived from the controversial statements made by the unnamed official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

First, the official stated that "we will not give up the rights of the people of Taiwan to join the UN"; however, when the Ma government suddenly lets go of the chance to apply for UN membership after Taiwan made 16 consecutive annual attempts previously, how does this government expect anyone to believe them when they say they are "not giv[ing] up the Taiwan people's right to join the UN"?

Second, UN Resolution 2758 -- which stated that Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) representative would be expelled from the UN's China seat and be replaced by a representative of the PRC government in Beijing -- did not mention anything about the Taiwanese people's right to join the UN or Taiwan's seat. (See Tim Maddog's earlier post: "Taiwan isn't China's.") Furthermore, it was the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA -- eventually replaced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] in 1952) that assigned the ROC to administer post-WWII Formosa, if there were any arguments about representation between China and Taiwan, it should be resolved at the source of problem, namely the UN, which is responsible for the creation of this problem. The representation of China (ROC or PRC) was already addressed by UN resolution 2758. The residents of Taiwan have been fighting for their rights internally against the ROC administration and externally against the PRC government's unlawful claim to represent them.

Third, the Ma administration stated that they had made attempts to join the World Meteorological Organization, but a simple check of region II of the map on their website (I even checked the region V, just to be sure) shows that neither Taiwan nor Chinese Taipei (to use Ma's favorite term to describe Taiwan) is a member. If Taiwan were a member, the information received from the WMO would probably have helped Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau to forecast typhoons more accurately. So, the report card shows a grade of "Zero" for last year's so-called "attempts" by the Ma government.

Fourth, in 2007, former president Chen Shui-bian had applied for Taiwan's UN bid as early as July, Ma's statement in September showed that no matter what excuses he provides, he does everything too slowly, ranging from the Typhoon Morakot rescue to the UN membership bid to possibly even Swine Flu (A[H1N1]) prevention, this continual inaction leads us to wonder what we elect a president for. Who is Ma working for: the Taiwanese or our neighbor across the Strait who have at least 1,500 missiles targeting us?

Fifth, the so-called change of method regarding meaningful participation was demonstrated to Taiwanese residents this past spring by way of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan's temporary attendance at the World Health Assembly (WHA), which was subject to annual approval by China in exchange for selling out Taiwan's sovereignty, not to mention the lack of any progress in securing an independent membership at the World Health Organization (WHO) as desired by the people of Taiwan. Therefore, it is a dangerous move by the Ma administration to continue using the WHA model to gain access to international organizations by being an associate member under Beijing's seat, or under Beijing's permission via a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the CCP and the KMT parties.

On behalf of all residents of Taiwan, the bloggers of Taiwan Matters would like to ask all residents and friends of Taiwan who value the universality of the UN and the rights of Taiwanese people to join the UN to continue signing this existing petition on www.GoPetition.com to counter Ma's inaction on this issue and the PRC's false representation. (Only sign once. If you've already done so, please encourage others to do so as well.) While you're at it, there's another petition on that site that could use your signature, too: "Remove Missiles Pointed At Taiwan 移除所有的導彈對準台灣." What are you waiting for? Go sign now!

(Tim Maddog contributed to this post.)

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At 4:28 PM, Blogger Ben Goren said...

Killer article Άλισον. Excellent work and thanks for the petition links. I would only add another take on the Foreign Ministry's argument that "we will not give up on the Taiwan people's right to enter the UN". Once they unified with China they could excuse this comment by saying that now Taiwanese people were part of China they were therefore automatically represented in the UN by China. It's a bit far fetched but I wouldn't underestimate the forces that wish to annex Taiwan to China.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

Arthur, you're quite right about the perception that such a situation would create. This is exactly why Taiwan needs a referendum ASAP on the issue of annexation -- a perfect example of the necessity of holding a referendum regarding something which hasn't yet happened. Without it, convincing the world that the vast majority of Taiwanese do not want Taiwan to become part of China will be a difficult task.

Shout-outs to those who have already signed the petitions linked above. Now, how many other people you can each of you get to sign the petitions? Taiwan is counting on you.

Tim Maddog

At 12:38 AM, Blogger Masalu said...

"The people of Taiwan want to join the UN, but the Ma government doesn't"

A more accurate and fairer caption should be :

---The people of Taiwan wants to join the UN, but the UN and American government doesn't.---

Why? Is the USA no loger a pillar of support for small but democratic countries like Taiwan?

Or maybe the American Gringos now have a different definition of the
words 'freedom' and 'democracy' and are only used by Washington when invading Iraq and Afghanistan and maybe Iran soon?

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

Masalu, try re-reading the title of the AFP news item in the second paragraph to understand the reason behind the title of this post.

Tim Maddog

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Masalu said...

Tim, the second paragraph is followed by the third which proves
that your caption is not only unfair but deceptive and a big,blatant lie!

Taiwan under any administration should not be accused of not wanting to join the UN. The AFP news is but just a very small bibliography that started when your President Jimmy Carter cut-off diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of the PRC.

Ever since, Uncle Sam has acted persistently as a deaf, dumb and mute every time Taiwan makes moves to join the UN yearly in a consistent basis.

Just be fair brother!

At 1:01 AM, Blogger Άλισον said...

"Taiwan under any administration should not be accused of not wanting to join the UN. The AFP news is but just a very small bibliography that started when your President Jimmy Carter cut-off diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of the PRC."

I disagree with this statement because the government and the people should not be mixed-up.

Jimmy Carter cut-off ties with the ROC administration and the US Congress bridged the unofficial ties with the people of Taiwan through the Taiwan Relations Act.

The government of ROC does not equate to the people of Taiwan.

And the US government's position or foreign policy does not equate to the opinions of the American people, especially those active in the NGOs or church groups that care about human rights.

Read Israel, Taiwan, and the UN by Moshe Phillips from the American Thinker.

"The mainstream media paid little attention in August when Israel sent much needed aid to Taiwan in response to the deadliest typhoon to hit the Chinese island nation in its history."

I wish the writer would describe Taiwan only as the island nation without the adjective "Chinese".

"The crucial thing ... is that the strategic and political approach that the United States takes towards support for her allies can change. Affinity, promises, good sense and fair play can all be forgotten - and quickly."

Pay attention that the author points out that it is dangerous to rely on American foreign policy to support Isreal because policies can change depending on each president, and this is also very true for Taiwan's future.

Taiwan's recent history revealed that the past US presidents had supported the ROC to fight the communism, then switched recognition to the PRC; but no US president had ever supported the Taiwanese people's human rights since the 228 Massacre in 1947.

For short-sighted politicians human rights does not apply when it is in conflict with the US national interests.

Only some congressmen, some NGOs and some individuals, friends of Taiwan (like Tim Maddog), have the vision to see the importance of supporting human rights for long-term global peace and security.

When human rights is ignored, the sad thing is that oppressed people may resort to other non-peaceful means for resolution.

This brings us to the a call for radicalism in Taiwan's situation (Why did the judge announce Chen's verdict on 911?)

Some radicals may think: Why use pen to campaign for Taiwan's inclusion into the WHO when a bomb explosion in any UN building will wake up the world leaders' hypocrisy in a breaking news?

Two comments in the first linked post are eye-catching for Taiwan's attention, the rest of comments deal mostly with Isreal's situation.

Posted by: Petra

"I agree with you Moshe. My tiny island nation Nauru in the central Pacific supports Taiwan and Israel. It recognize Taiwan diplomatically and has been calling on the UN to admit Taiwan for many years. The fear of China by the other states always resulted in this call being rejected. Nauru does recognize the biased attitude of the UN and has on numerous occasions, voted against resolutions that unfairly criticizes Israel.

Posted by: Little UN

"Small nations do not really have a voice in UN. Small countries like Israel, Taiwan and other small democracies should form their own UN. Majority of Arab nations are behind western nations in democracy development by at least a century, just like China with a billion modern-day industrial slaves."

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

Masalu, the point of this post is to refute the claim in the AFP piece, so your own claim that the third paragraph "proves that [our title] is not only unfair but deceptive and a big,blatant lie!" is both illogical and insulting. Just because AFP says something doesn't make it true.

Your own second paragraph doesn't make sense either. This post distinguishes clearly between the government and the people, and it makes a clear distinction between the desires of each.

I don't mind hearing from people whose opinions are different from ours, but so far (and I've seen your similarly trollish comments on The View from Taiwan and on Letters from Taiwan, too) you have done nothing but inject noise into this conversation.

If you wish any of your future comments to appear here:

1. Stay on topic.

2. Use some basic logic.

3. Back up your logic with facts (and links, where necessary).

4. Be genuine, "brother!"

5. Comment under a single consistent identity.

6. Don't whine about "censorship" (as you did on Letters from Taiwan) when so many of your trollish comments have already appeared on this and other pro-Taiwan blogs.

Tim Maddog


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