St Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves during his speech to the 77th UNGA last weekend raised two legitimate and important questions about Taiwan: the very existence of Taiwan and its right to participate in the UN system and other multilateral organizations, particularly the UN specialized agencies.
As the UNGA has just concluded and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is having their triennial assembly in Canada, it is the perfect time to discuss these prolonged and unanswered questions, for we believe it is a watershed moment for the world, to finally come to realize the strategic roles that Taiwan is playing right now, and the rightful status and support it needs to have.
For many years, the UN kept allowing disinformation to dictate its policies toward Taiwan. Particularly China’s claim that the UNGA Resolution 2758 in 1971 endorsed their position that Taiwan is part of China based on the so-called “One China Principle”, but the document on this resolution reflected that decisions were only made upon who gets the seat as the UN member state “China” without even mentioning Taiwan, let along endorsing PRC’s alleged position and the future representation of Taiwan in UN.
Today Taiwan is a thriving democracy with a vibrant market economy and has remained the world’s 16th largest trading partner and 6th largest holder of foreign reserves. The strategic location makes Taiwan a critical regional hub, it’s the home of the 4th busiest airport in the world for international air cargo in 2020, and accommodated 72 million travellers annually through its airports before the COVID 19 pandemic; Taiwan is also the host of many hi-tech companies, including two of the world’s biggest semiconductor producers, making it an integral part of the global supply chain. Taiwan has been a full-fledged member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) for years, the track record proved that we a reliable stakeholders and always ready to contribute. Given these facts, we believe that the democratically elected government of Taiwan and the 23 million people it represents, once given the opportunity to participate on the international stage like the UN system including ICAO, WHO and UNFCCC, would greatly benefit the global village on many vital issues like SDGs, climate change, prevention of the pandemics, and civil aviation safety. And for that, we can’t thank you more for SVG’s unwavering support over the past decades.
There are certainly other parameters that people over the world are concerned about when it comes to Taiwan’s international representation because China is trying to isolate Taiwan by bringing in a campaign of aggression, notably the economic embargo and the military drills launched against us after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August.
It is worth noting that China’s ambitions have always been far beyond the Taiwan Strait, this is particularly evident in its recent political slogans such as “made in China 2025” and “To realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, its flashy “one belt one road” projects which often turn into financial traps for others, and its continuous conflicts with neighbouring countries in the East China Sea, the South China Sea and the Himalayas. China’s autocracy, coupled with economic and military expansionism, could be a potential threat to the peace and stability of the indo-pacific and the world.
After witnessing China’s handling of Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang, people begin to realize that Chinese expansionism will not simply end with Taiwan. Yet Taiwan is still striving for peaceful dialogue across the Strait, providing that it has no pre-conditions and is being conducted on an equal footing.
The current restricted Zero COVID policy and continued to crack down on industries from high-tech, education, and entertainment to online games, has severally slowed down the fast-growing economic model of China in the past decades. Facing the power transition in October, it could intentionally escalate the threat towards Taiwan to divert attention away from its economic downturn and internal power struggle, that is when the whole world needs to see through it and take joint actions to stop it.
Here is a quote from the Book of Samuel, on the famous story of David and Goliath:” God saves not with sword and spear, for the battle is God’s”. We in Taiwan has the same kind of faith and determination in defending our freedom and democracy against the coercive aggressiveness from outside. But more than ever, an international concerted effort is needed to prevent such hegemonic behaviours, so that global peace and prosperity could be further preserved. We believe military threats won’t stop Taiwan from making more friends and certainly won’t stop international friends from visiting or voicing their support to Taiwan. With many faithful friends like SVG walking by our side, it is time for Taiwan to have its proper place back on the international stage.