Linnabary: Taiwan Is a Country

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By Ian Linnabary, Opinion Writer

 

On Oct. 25, 1971, the United Nations (U.N.) passed resolution 2758. This resolution expelled Taiwan (Republic of China) from the U.N. and replaced it with the People’s Republic of China. At the time, both the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan claimed representation of the same country with thousands of years of history.

Current U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres’ reflected on resolution 2758, calling China “the only legitimate representatives of China in the United Nations.” This should concern everyone within the global community, given repeated evidence of China’s massive human rights abuses.

China has been an enemy of pluralism and freedom around the globe. Taiwan has a legitimate claim to membership in the U.N., supported by China’s human rights abuses and efforts against pluralism. The U.N. should recognize Taiwan as a country.

China had a legitimate claim to join the U.N.. Having a robust population of 850 million and receiving support from world leaders like the United States. It is lost on many today why Taiwan was excluded. China’s inclusion in the U.N. did not need to come at the cost of Taiwan’s participation. Taiwan was and still is an economically prosperous nation, which today has a robust GDP of $573 billion. It had a mutual defense treaty with the U.S. It was also a founding member of the World Bank until 1980 when China replaced Taiwan.

This is all due to the one-China policy that came from resolution 2758. The U.N., as a body, considered Taiwan to be a part of the People’s Republic of China and an independent nation. This attitude was adopted under pressure from China, which saw Taiwan as part of itself. Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made it clear that this has been and will continue to be the official position of the U.N. What is odd is that resolution 2758 doesn’t give the U.N. the authority to make territorial decisions and create a policy such as the One-China policy.

A vote by the U.N. does not officially draw international borders. The U.N. circumvented the status quo and decided to play nation-builder and decide Taiwan’s borders for itself. Taiwan is its own country, not a part of the People’s Republic of China.

But this again raises the question, why does the U.N. still practice the One-China Policy? Given China’s massive human rights abuses and stance against pluralism and freedom, why do we allow China to be a world leader? Beyond the valid historical points for Taiwan’s inclusion in the U.N., why do we allow China this amount of legitimacy?

The U.S. and its fellow western allies have failed to advocate for Taiwan against China. China has consistently been hostile toward Taiwan, yet we sit back and release statements condemning China’s actions while doing nothing of substance to stop the issue. Despite the U.S. trading and engaging with Taiwan, we have yet to recognize Taiwan as its own country or advocate for its acceptance into the U.N.

Upon reflecting on China’s current situation, this famous phrase comes to mind, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Despite this, Utah’s elected leaders have continually been men of good faith and leaders in this fight.

Sen. Mitt Romney, a ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia said, “We must support Taiwan’s standing in the world by advocating for their participation in international organizations.” Congressman John Curtis co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to aid Taiwan in its fight against foreign interference. Original co-sponsor of the bill Congressman Ami Bera thanked Curtis for his support on this issue before saying, “The United States will not stand by as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) falsely claims that Beijing has the right to represent the people of Taiwan in international institutions” and said resolution 2758 is “silent” on how Taiwan will be represented on the world stage.

With our position as a global leader questioned after we abandoned Afghanistan, we must stand firm in this situation. When the U.S. can’t be relied upon to fight forces such as China, especially in defense of a free nation like Taiwan, our title as a leader of the free world should be in question. Though Taiwan and the issue of its representation on the world stage is an issue centered around the other side of the globe, Utah leaders are leading on this issue. China does not deserve to dictate Taiwan’s recognition on the world stage. As Congressman John Curtis said, “#TaiwanIsACountry.”

 

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