US congressman’s bill calls for Taiwan membership in UN

19-Sep-2020 Intellasia | TaiwanNews | 6:02 AM Print This Post

On the heels of a “historic” meeting between the US envoy to the UN and a senior Taiwan official on Wednesday (September 16), a US congressman introduced a bill calling for Taiwan’s return to the intergovernmental organisation.

On Wednesday, US Ambassador Kelly Craft met for lunch with James K.J. Lee, director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York at an eatery in Manhattan. This marked the first meeting between a high-level Taiwan official and a US ambassador to the UN

The same day, US Congressman Tom Tiffany introduced a bill calling on the US to put an end to the “one China” policy, resume formal relations with Taiwan, and begin negotiations on a US-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement. Also included in the bill was a clause urging the US to support Taiwan’s re-entry into the UN

Taiwan was a founding member of the UN in 1949, but was expelled from the organisation in 1971 after China was admitted as a member. The country was subsequently removed from all UN organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1972.

In a press release posted on Thursday (September 17), Tiffany pointed out that before 1979, the US and Taiwan continued to maintain normal and friendly diplomatic relations. However, then US President Jimmy Carter suddenly broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan “without legislative approval” and instead opted to recognise the communist regime in Beijing.

Tiffany stated relations between Taiwan and the US were repaired somewhat with Congress’ passage of the “Taiwan Relations Act” (TRA) and former President Ronald Reagan issuance of the “Six Assurances.” However, he pointed out the US still does not formally recognise Taiwan and is “inexplicably treating” Taiwan’s democratically elected government in the same way it treats the “brutal regimes” in North Korea and Iran.

Based on the text of the Concurrent Resolution submitted by Tiffany’s office to Taiwan News, the sense of Congress is the US should resume formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, rescind restrictions on normal exchanges between the two countries, negotiate and sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and advocate for Taiwan’s membership in the United Nations and other international organisations.

In 1971, UN Resolution 2758 excluded Taiwan from the organisation under the premise that China is the only “the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations.”

In 2007, the UN rejected the country’s bid to “join the UN under the name of Taiwan,” as it continued to cling to the notion that “Taiwan is part of China.” In Tiffany’s press release, he wrote, “Now is the time for America to stop parroting Beijing’s ‘one China’ fantasy, and for US policy to reflect the reality that Taiwan is a free, democratic and independent country.”

If the US was to finally end its adherence to Beijing’s “one China” policy, it would open the door for formal diplomatic recognition of Taiwan and strengthen its case on entering the UN as a separate entity. Tiffany’s bill is in line with the Trump administration’s policy of supporting Taiwan’s inclusion in international organisations such as the WHO and International Civil Aviation Organisation.


Category: Taiwan

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