Three Reasons UN Should Accept Taiwan: Removing The 2758 Resolution? – OpEd


As reported by Focus Taiwan on August 28, the Deputy Minister of Taiwan, Tien Chung-kwang, uttered to the UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in misinterpreting the UN’s resolution 2758. Historically, the resolution was signed in 1971 by the UN in response to who would be a representative of China. Because China Communists have been a representative of China, Taiwan, as a lost party, was kicked out of the UN. 

From 2008 to 2015, the ties of both parties reached “a golden age” of their relationship under the Ma Ying-jeou era, whereby, in 2015, both sides held a historical rendezvous in Singapore. Nevertheless, Tsai Ing-wen did not continue the solid relationship due to the anti-China campaign and refusing the 1992 Consensus. Tsai argues that Taiwan should have its path. It means Taiwan could diversify its relationship with others, not only China. Hence, in its development, Taiwan plans to bring back its “soul” to the international stage by promoting itself as one of the UN’s members. In this context, Taiwan has been more aggressive, lessening its dependency on China. 

To support the statement, there are three reasons why the UN should consider its decision to accept Taiwan. 

First, Taiwan has its political system. Although China claims it could imply a “one country, two systems policy” to Taiwan, it is irrelevant to Taiwan. Since the 1990s, Taiwan has been governed by a democratic leader and holds the presidential election. According to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in 2022, despite not being a country, Taiwan ranked 1 in Asia; the quality of Taiwan’s democracy is in line with international values, such as freedom and the rule of law. Its political system has been buoyed by various parties, such as Kuomintang (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) – two of the big parties in Taiwan.

In early 2024, Taiwan will hold a competitive presidential election involving DPP, KMT, and Taiwan People’s Party. This election will be crucial for Taiwan and its people due to China’s pressure on Taiwan’s ambition for independence and massive support from the US. Some researchers argue that it will cause two scenarios. First, if DPP wins, China will increase its pressure on Taiwan. The Pentagon’s forecast shows that China will invade Taiwan in 2027. If KMT wins, China will not invade Taiwan; the elected president could normalize Taiwan’s ties with China, mainly boosting economic relations. 

Second, Taiwan could draw its foreign policy visions. Since the 1990s and increased in 2016, the Taiwanese government has intensively expressed its commitment to gathering with the international community and has allied with democratic countries, for example, with the West. In addition, Taiwan was brave enough to vocalize its national policy, such as the New Southbound Policy (NSP), which evolved from the Go South policy introduced by the current Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The policy aims to strengthen South-South cooperation with various countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and others. In addition, Taiwan has offered several sectors ranging from education to technology.  In 2018, the NSP was allocated a budget of $241 million, up from $131 million in 2017. As the world’s 18th-largest economy, Taiwan is fully integrated into world affairs.

Third, the 2758 resolution is irrelevant. In the modern world, when some countries have developed in the economic or political sector, it could be unfair if “the controversial rule has restrained a country” like China to Taiwan. Vuyile Dumisani Dlamini, the Eswatini’s permanent representative to the UN’s Geneva office, said Taiwan’s exclusion from the UN is unjustified. Furthermore, Taiwan has the right to determine its country without having control by China. 

The US’s Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, said Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN is predicted to help the world, “That is why [the United States] encourage[s] all UN Member States to join us in supporting Taiwan’s robust, meaningful participation throughout the UN system and in the international community.” In his writing, Shattuck argues that the approach of being a UN member could push for dual membership.  It is more dangerous because China-Taiwan relations might be worse, but it is possible to do so if Taiwan is ready to fight. 

In conclusion, the UN should consider Taiwan as a member and remove the 2758 resolution. The UN could amplify its awareness that China today does not follow the rules, for instance, having its own rules ten dash-line in the South China Sea (SCS); it does not align with UNCLOS 1982. 

M Habib Pashya

M Habib Pashya is a Master's student at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM). His research focuses on China's foreign policy, Indonesia's foreign policy, and US-Taiwan-China relations.

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