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The U.S. State Department refrained from referring to Taiwan as a country in a statement to the United Nations requesting that Taiwan participate in the international governing body.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken released the press statement in support of accepting Taiwan (officially the Republic of China) into the U.N., calling the island a "democratic success story."
"As the international community faces an unprecedented number of complex and global issues, it is critical for all stakeholders to help address these problems," Blinken said in the release. "This includes the 24 million people who live in Taiwan. Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UN system is not a political issue, but a pragmatic one."
Blinken cited Taiwan's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nation's contributions to the U.N. for over 50 years as justifications for representation in the organization's governance. Because the U.N. recognizes the mainland People's Republic of China as "the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations," the independent island has lost access to the body's global conversations and conferences.
"Taiwan’s exclusion undermines the important work of the UN and its related bodies, all of which stand to benefit greatly from its contributions," Blinken said. "We need to harness the contributions of all stakeholders toward solving our shared challenges. That is why we encourage all UN Member States to join us in supporting Taiwan’s robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system and in the international community."
Taiwan has argued since the Chinese civil war that it is an independent country separate from continental China. Meanwhile, the mainland has recently pressured the island to accept Chinese sovereignty and consider the island a province or territory.
The United States still stands behind a "One China Policy" that supports the People's Republic of China, or Beijing, as the single sovereign authority over all of China, including Taiwan. However, the U.S. government has acted freely in its trade, negotiations, and mutual defense with the government of Taiwan, raising questions of sincerity from the Chinese Communist Party.
The statement follows a virtual meeting between Taiwan and the U.S. last week, in which they discussed supporting Taiwan's voice on the international stage, including the U.N.
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin has warned countries against aiding Taiwan in their push for a stronger international presence.
“The vast number of U.N. member states, including the U.S., recognize that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory,” Wenbin said. “The Taiwan authorities' attempt to expand the so-called ‘international’ space by brown-nosing foreign forces is, in essence, trying to expand the room for ‘Taiwan independence’ and separatism and will only prove a failure.”
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Original Author: Misty Severi
Original Location: State Department requests UN to accept Taiwan but fails to call it a country