FAPA Protests UN Secretary General’s Stance On Taiwan
On August 3rd 2007, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to strongly protest his decision not to relay Taiwan’s request for admission to the General Assembly and the Security Council. The Association in particular criticized Mr. Ban’s argument that under General Assembly Resolution 2758 of 1971, the UN considers “that Taiwan is part of China.”
The Association refers to the full text of the Resolution, and shows that it doesn’t even refer to “Taiwan.” In the letter, it explains that the issue in 1971 was “which government represented China”, the Chinese Nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek or the government of the PRC in Beijing. FAPA states that the “representatives of Chiang Kai-shek” were not expelled because they represented Taiwan, but that “… they were expelled because they claimed to represent China.”
FAPA goes on to state that the status of Taiwan should be determined in accordance with the decisions of the 1951-52 San Francisco Peace Treaty, when it was decided that Japan would cede sovereignty over Taiwan, and delegates expressed the view that the island’s future would be decided according to the principles laid down in the Charter of the UN, i.e. self-determination.
The letter states that the DPP government of Chen Shui-bian clearly reflected the wishes of the large majority of the people in Taiwan when it submitted its application for Taiwan membership. The Association urges Mr. Ban to “live up to the basic principles of human rights, democracy and self-determination” and help facilitate entry of Taiwan into the UN. It argues that the Taiwanese people have “worked long and hard for their democracy, freedom, and independence” and that peace can only be secured if the island “gains a full and equal place among the international family of nations.
FAPA is a grass-roots organization of Taiwanese Americans. It has 56 chapters across the United States, and has as its goal to “promote international support for the right op the people of Taiwan to establish an independent and democratic country, and to join the international community.”
H.E. Ban Ki-moon
New York NY 10017 USA Washington, August 3rd 2007
As an organization of Americans of Taiwanese descent, we take strong exception to your decision not to relay the request to admission of Taiwan as a member of the United Nations — submitted by the democratically- elected government in Taiwan led by President Chen Shui-bian — to the General Assembly and the Security Council.
In particular, we reject your argument that under General Assembly Resolution 2758, the UN took the position “that Taiwan is part of China.” This is contrary to the facts: if you read Resolution 2758 carefully (see attachment no. 1), you will see that it doesn’t even mention Taiwan. The issue under consideration in Resolution 2758 was which government represented China. Until that time, the Chinese Nationalists had represented China, and their seat was granted to the government of the PRC in Beijing.
The fundamental flaw in your argument is that you equate the “representatives of Chiang Kai-shek” with Taiwan. But Chiang and his representatives were not expelled in 1971 because they represented Taiwan, they were expelled because they claimed to represent China. They did not represent the Taiwanese in any fashion: the island was under martial law from 1949 until 1987. Note that after the democratic transition in Taiwan in the late 1980s early 1990s, they were also expelled from office in Taiwan — through democratic elections.
On Taiwan’s status, there is a much earlier (and more important) international document, the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951-52, in which Japan formally ceded sovereignty over Taiwan. Delegates at the San Francisco conference voiced the opinion that the status of Taiwan needed to be determined “in due time, in accord with the purposes and principles as laid down in the Charter of the UN” (i.e. self-determination).
Taiwan now has a democratic government, led by the Democratic Progressive Party of President Chen Shui-bian. This government clearly reflected the wishes of the large majority of the people on the island when it submitted its application for UN membership to you on July 19th 2007.
If the United Nations wants to be a truly “universal” organization, it needs to take Taiwan’s application seriously. Article 1.2 of the Charter of the United Nations states that it is the purpose of the UN:
“To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;”
Taiwan is a democratic nation: it fulfills all the criteria for a nation-state as defined in the 1933 Montevideo Convention: a defined territory, a permanent population, and a government which is capable of entering into diplomatic relations with other states. In fact, it has diplomatic ties with 24 UN member states.
We urge you to live up to the basic principles of human rights, democracy and self-determination which lay at the foundation of the establishment of the United Nations, reconsider your position, and facilitate the entry of Taiwan into the United Nations. The Taiwanese people have worked long and hard for their democracy, freedom and independence, and should gain a full and equal place among the international family of nations. Only then can peace be secured.
C.T. Lee MD
President, Formosan Association for Public Affairs
Attachment no. 1
2758 (XXVI). Restoration of the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations
The General Assembly,
Recalling the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
Considering the restoration of the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China is essential both for the protection of the Charter of the United Nations and for the cause that the United Nations must serve under the Charter,
Recognizing that the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations and that the People’s Republic of China is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council,
Decides to restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and 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.
1967th plenary meeting,
25 October 1971.