Taiwan's Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu wrote the opinion piece below for The Sankei Shimbun. It was published ahead of the new session of the United Nations General Assembly that opened on September 5. In it, Wu calls for Taiwan's participation in the UN and related organizations to help resolve global issues and ensure peace and stability in the international community.
Since the end of the Cold War, we have maintained world peace and a rule-based international order by adhering to the principle of peaceful settlement of international disputes. This is enshrined in the UN Charter.
The humanitarian crisis and economic shocks caused by the [Ukraine] war have made people realize that in our global age, crises are not confined to the domestic sphere. Global security threats must be prevented from occurring outside of our own neighborhoods. That is especially true of the huge challenge from China that democratic Taiwan faces.
China's Threat to Democracy
The People's Republic of China has never ruled Taiwan. However, it has declared that it is prepared to take Taiwan by force and refuses to renounce the use of force. Taiwan has always maintained the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait in a calm and composed manner. But China's economic and military power has grown stronger. Beijing has sought to intimidate Taiwan with displays of military power that threaten our democratic way of life.
Working together to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is consistent with the interests of all countries. Any conflict in the region would be a disaster for the global economy. In recent years, a number of joint statements by the international community have emphasized the critical importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait to global security. To avoid war, we need inclusiveness, dialogue, and most importantly, solidarity.
Unity and Inclusiveness
The UN remains the best platform for dialogue. It often calls for unity and inclusiveness in resolving issues. Taiwan has the will and ability to participate in such efforts. However, China promoted a misleading interpretation of UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 (Albania Resolution) of 1971. This resulted in the exclusion of Taiwan from the UN. That resolution admitted the People's Republic of China into the UN. However, it does not state that Taiwan is part of the PRC. Nor does it give the PRC the right to represent the people of Taiwan in the United Nations and related bodies.
Instead, the resolution merely established which entity would represent the member state of "China." That reality was recognized by both the international community and China when the resolution was passed in 1971. China's misinterpretation and the fundamental principles upheld by the UN Charter are contradictory and this anomaly must be corrected.
Solidarity is Strength
We call on members of the United Nations to uphold the UN's principle of "leaving no one behind," recognize Taiwan's participation in the UN system, and not exclude Taiwan from discussions that require global cooperation. If the United Nations would permit Taiwanese citizens and journalists to attend and cover relevant meetings and allow Taiwan's meaningful participation in mechanisms related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that would be a good start.
Allowing Taiwan to participate meaningfully in the UN system would contribute to solving global issues that the world must deal with collectively. It would also symbolize the UN's unified determination to defend world peace when the global community encounters threats.
Solidarity is strength. Now more than ever is the time for Taiwan to be involved in the United Nations.
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(Read the Foreign Minister's message in Japanese.)
Author: Joseph Wu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan