Taiwanese delegation in U.S. to promote U.N. membership for Taiwan

Taiwanese delegation in U.S. to promote U.N. membership for Taiwan

Washington, Sept. 13 (CNA) A non-governmental Taiwanese delegation is currently in the United States to promote Taiwan's membership in the United Nations to coincide with the 71st Session of the U.N. General Assembly.

Since arriving in Washington D.C. on Sunday, the 50-member delegation led by Michael Tsai, head of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA), has met with several pro-Taiwan members of the U.S. Congress to convey Taiwan's desire to join the U.N.

They included Randy Forbes, chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Dana Rohrabacher, a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats; and Steve Chabot, another member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

During the meetings, the delegation urged the U.S. congressmen to use their influence to support Taiwan's meaningful participation in the U.N. and its affiliated agencies, such as the the International Civil Aviation Organization, Tsai told Taiwanese media Tuesday.

The delegation also hoped that the United States will strengthen its interactions with Taiwan, and it called on the U.S. Congress to review U.S. policy toward Taiwan or China to give Taiwan more opportunities to participate in international organizations, he said.

Forbes told the delegation that the Congress has added several provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act that are aimed at enhancing military cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, according to Tsai.

These provisions include one that would allow high-level U.S. military officers to visit Taiwan and another one that would allow Taiwan to participate in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, he said.

Tsai also said he has written to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to stress Taiwan's eligibility for U.N. membership.

Resolution 2758 adopted by the U.N. in 1971 only stated that the U.N. seat held by the Republic of China (Taiwan) would be replaced by the People's Republic of China but did not state that the PRC represents the Taiwanese people and that Taiwan is part of China, he argued.

He said a survey has revealed that as many as 84.8 percent of people in Taiwan are in favor of the country joining the U.N. under the name "Taiwan." According to international law, Taiwan meets the requirements for a country because it has people, territory, a government and sovereignty, he added.

The ROC has tried without success to re-enter the U.N. since 1993, after losing its seat to the People's Republic of China in 1971. In 2007, then President Chen Shui-bian changed tactics by bidding to join the world body under the name of "Taiwan."

After President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, Taiwan began to go with a more pragmatic approach by pursuing meaningful participation in U.N.-affiliated agencies, instead of seeking membership in the world body.

The new administration of President Tsai Ing-wen has indicated its intention to follow Ma's approach. (By Tony Liao and Y.F. Low)

Updated : 2021-03-06 17:22 GMT+08:00