A Club Taiwan Can’t Join – Gary Schmitt

From Weekly Standard:

Membership in the is supposed to be “open to all . . . peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained” in the U.N. Charter, as the selfsame charter puts it. In a rational world, a country with the world’s 18th largest economy, which is formally and diplomatically recognized by other member states and is a practicing liberal democracy, would be a slam dunk for membership. But of course the U.N.’s history is replete with resolutions and decisions that are at odds with its own charter and lofty goals. So, to no one’s surprise, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been denied membership in that august body for the 15th year in a row.

But this year was different. In mid-July, President Chen Shui-bian submitted the application letter under the name “Taiwan” instead of “Republic of China.” The ostensible reason for doing so was that, having failed repeatedly in the past with the moniker ROC, it was thought best to try something new, using the name now commonly employed by both the people of Taiwan and much of the globe when talking about the self-governing island. The real reason for the switch of course was President Chen’s desire to reaffirm to his constituents at home and to the wider world his view that Taiwan is in fact an independent, sovereign entity that is distinct from mainland China. [Full Text]

Gary J. Schmitt is a resident scholar and director of the Program on Advanced Strategic Studies at American Enterprise Institute.

August 10, 2007 7:53 AM
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