U.S. officials are strategizing about “expanding Taiwan’s participation at the United Nations,” according to a State Department announcement that left Chinese officials fuming just as they were planning to celebrate the regime’s arrival at the United Nations.
“This totally went against the tide of history,” former Chinese ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said Monday. “U.N. Resolution 2758, passed five decades ago, made it clear that there’s only one China in the world, and it was also recognized by the Americans, so why are they now trying to reverse this?”
U.S. officials have expanded diplomatic contact with Taiwan throughout the coronavirus pandemic, after Beijing’s censorship of early warnings about the viral threat is in contrast to Taiwan’s attempt to give World Health Organization officials a timely alert. Yet the latest effort was amplified into a broader challenge to Chinese talking points about Beijing’s assertion of sovereignty over Taiwan, especially the regime’s claim that a United Nations resolution has endorsed its claims.
“Although the resolution did not take a position on the representation of Taiwan or its people, in recent years Beijing has increasingly used a manipulated interpretation of the resolution to ostracize the people of Taiwan — and their potential contributions — from the international system,” Rep. Ami Bera, a California Democrat, and Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot, the top two lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, said Monday. “We oppose any ahistorical reinterpretations of UNGA Resolution 2758 (XXVI) that isolate Taiwan or impose Beijing’s views on other countries.”
The U.N. resolution recognized the mainland Chinese regime as “the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations” and authorized officials from Beijing to occupy China’s seat in the United Nations Security Council. The resolution also stated the General Assembly’s decision "to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it,” but U.S. officials in both parties have argued that Taipei deserves a greater role at key international organizations, such as the World Health Organization.
“The discussion focused on supporting Taiwan’s ability to participate meaningfully at the UN and contribute its valuable expertise to address global challenges, including global public health, the environment and climate change, development assistance, technical standards, and economic cooperation,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s team said Saturday.
Chinese officials fumed at the gesture and insulted Taiwanese officials. “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,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters, adding that Taiwan’s interactions with United Nations organizations “must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle.”
Chinese officials use the term “one-China principle” as a short-hand for their position that “there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory,” as Wenbin put it Monday. The United States has a “one-China policy,” characterized in part by Ronald Reagan’s assurance to Taiwanese officials that “the United States has not agreed to take any position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan,” which then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s team declassified and affirmed last year.
“Our policy is guided by our one-China policy,” State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated Monday when asked if U.N. Resolution 2758 endorses Beijing’s “one-China principle,” as Chinese officials maintain. “This administration believes Taiwan, as a leading democracy, has a lot to offer to the world on these new challenges, including within international fora.”
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Original Author: Joel Gehrke
Original Location: US-Taiwan talks spoil China’s anniversary of communist arrival at UN