[Opinion] Let's work as one for the common good

[Opinion] Let’s work as one for the common good

The global community faces an unprecedented number of crises: from the (still ongoing) challenge of COVID-19 variants to delayed efforts against climate change, from supply chain disruptions to the wanton invasion of Ukraine by Russia… Now, more than ever, the rise of verbal and military threats from China is undermining regional peace and stability.

All of this is bound to have consequences for the security and well-being of the world. As UN members gather in New York, these leaders need to be reminded that all human beings — including those in Taiwan — deserve to have their voices heard and to be associated with the effort to necessary collaboration to meet these challenges for the good of all. A beacon of democracy in Asia and a force for good in the world, Taiwan is a valuable partner that can help overcome these global challenges.

From the start of the pandemic, Taiwan has provided humanitarian aid around the world, including distributing surgical masks and medical equipment, while subsequently developing and sharing its locally developed vaccine. Taiwan also sent more than 550 tons of relief materials to the Ukrainian population following the Russian invasion, not to mention donations of more than C$52.7 million to Ukrainian refugees.

Additionally, Taiwan is committed to combating climate change, with a roadmap aiming for completely decarbonized emissions by 2050 and putting in place measures to comply with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The world’s 22nd largest economy by GDP and a major manufacturer of semiconductors, Taiwan plays a key role in global supply chains. A defender of democracy, Taiwan works to safeguard the status quo and supports a rules-based international order.

Give the example

While China uses coercion to export its authoritarianism, Taiwan sets an example with its free and open society. It is regrettable that Taiwan does not have the opportunity to participate in the largest and most important forum for international cooperation due to the relentless suppression of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Purposely confusing the “one China” principle with UN General Assembly Resolution 2758—which determined who represented “China” in the organization five decades ago—Beijing is misleading the world by claiming that Taiwan is part of the PRC.

The resolution does not take a position on Taiwan and does not even include the word “Taiwan”. The long-term status quo assumes that the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China are separate jurisdictions, and neither is subordinate to the other. The people of Taiwan can thus only be represented by their freely and democratically elected government before the international community.

However, this misinterpretation of Resolution 2758 has long deprived Taiwan of the right to participate in the United Nations and its specialized agencies. It also deprives the international community of the possibility of benefiting from the Taiwanese contribution. Worse still, the PRC’s efforts to alter Taiwan’s status at the UN further undermine global peace and stability. Beijing’s recent military maneuvers around Taiwan, because of their dangerousness, are an element to be taken into account. The UN Charter unequivocally states that the purpose (and very principle) of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and stability, and that disputes between states are to be settled by peaceful means.

Yet Beijing, by continuing to conduct military exercises in areas around Taiwan, is eroding the status quo in the strait, causing tensions to rise, undermining international trade and transportation, and undermining regional peace and security. Such irresponsible actions must be condemned and stopped.

Given the current circumstances, it is of the utmost importance that the United Nations and its Member States stop allowing any of them, let alone a member of the Security Council, to dictate the positions of the organization according to its own political programme. Accepting China’s unwarranted claims on Taiwan can only destabilize the region, and also contradicts the very purpose of the UN’s existence.

Taiwan is committed to defending its sovereignty and security. As a responsible member of the international community, he will continue to show restraint in the face of Chinese provocations and work with like-minded countries to strengthen peace and stability in the region. As we have already shown in the past, we will continue to assume our responsibilities through our commitment and our contribution to the international community.

The theme of the 77e session of the UN General Assembly, “A Watershed: Transformative Solutions to Intertwined Challenges”, reminds us of the challenges facing the international community: the COVID-19 pandemic, food shortages and energy, global supply chain disruptions, climate change… the list goes on.

The UN speaks of “common solutions” and “solidarity” to tackle “interconnected crises”. We couldn’t say it better. Taiwan is willing and able to take part in these joint solutions. And the 23.5 million Taiwanese who have shown resilience should by no means be excluded from such important global efforts.

We are grateful that countries around the world are beginning to realize what Taiwan can offer. Many moreover are those who support a strong participation of Taiwan in the UN system. Among them, the European Parliament, which overwhelmingly approved, on July 6 this year, a resolution in favor of Taiwan’s significant participation in international organizations. G7 countries also expressed similar support. In particular, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly encouraged all UN member states last October to join the United States in supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the United Nations.

The obstacles we face together require everyone on deck. These interrelated crises can only be resolved if the whole world pulls together. Taiwan has proven itself as an indispensable and trusted partner, and the Taiwanese are ready to make their contribution. Let’s work together as one for the common good!

To see in video