“Dear partner”: USA wants to integrate Taiwan more closely into the UN

“Dear Partner”
USA want to involve Taiwan more closely in the UN

Taiwan is a democracy and an economic power in East Asia, but plays no role in international organizations – because the People’s Republic of China prevents this. The US is now calling for the island state to be involved – but wants to stick to its one-China policy.

The US has called on the international community to better integrate Taiwan into the United Nations. “We encourage all UN member states to support us in supporting a robust, meaningful participation by Taiwan in the UN system and in the international community,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Taiwan is a “democratic success story”, an important international player and a “valued partner and trusted friend”.

A significant participation of Taiwan in the UN system is “not a political question, but a pragmatic question,” said Blinken. He referred, among other things, to the international fight against the corona pandemic and Taiwan’s role as an aviation hub. However, recently Taiwan was unable to attend meetings of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao), Blinken complained. “Taiwan’s expulsion undermines the vital work of the UN and its related bodies.”

Blinken also emphasized that the involvement of Taiwan must be in agreement with the so-called one-China policy. The US recognizes the leadership in Beijing as the sole government of the Chinese people. In 1971, Taiwan therefore lost its seat at the United Nations in favor of the People’s Republic of China. Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have been increasing for years. Beijing regards Taiwan, which split off from China in 1949 and was never part of the People’s Republic, as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland – if necessary with military force.

“Strategic Ambiguity”

China’s President Xi Jinping has recently repeatedly affirmed China’s claim to reunification with Taiwan. In recent months, there have been an increasing number of incidents in which Chinese fighter jets penetrated the Taiwanese air defense space. Most recently, US President Joe Biden caused a sensation with the assurance of military support from Taiwan in the event of a possible attack by China. However, the White House immediately stressed that there was no change of course in US Taiwan policy.

The United States has long followed a line of “strategic ambiguity” on this issue. While the US is assuring Taiwan that it will help it build up its defense capabilities, it does not explicitly promise to help the island in the event of a war.

Taiwan warns of escalation

Taiwan itself issued an urgent warning against further escalation in the face of mounting tensions with China. A military conflict between the two countries would be “a disaster – not only for Taiwan but also for China and the rest of the world,” said Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. China could try to create an “external crisis” to divert attention from domestic problems.

Economic growth in the People’s Republic has slowed, the western sanctions are also having an effect and there are energy bottlenecks, said Wu. “Such situations could create an environment for an authoritarian leader to consider external measures to divert attention domestically,” he said. “The danger is there and it is getting bigger,” he added.

Wu was in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, to attend an event organized by the Globsec Institute. China protested against the Taiwanese foreign minister’s trip to Europe, who is also visiting the Czech Republic. China firmly rejects the countries concerned cooperating with such “separatists” and supporters of Taiwan’s independence.

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