20 September 2007

UN Rejects Taiwan, Again

As predicted, Taiwan's bid to join the United Nations failed during the 62nd Session of the General Assembly. It's the 15th consecutive time that the island nation has submitted a bid and failed.

I've had a couple of readers blasting me for the previous post about this issue. But let me clarify my position on this: 1) Do I think Taiwan should have a seat in the United Nations? Answer: Absolutely. 2) Do I think Taiwan should keep trying? Yes, but only if the conditions are ripe.

Let's face it, Taiwan has a very weak hand to play here. China is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. Besides a veto power, China also holds a lot of sway over other member nations, including the United States. As long as China is adamantly opposed to Taiwan's membership, then it's just not going to happen.

Part of politics is dealing with reality. Chen Shui-bian knows what the reality is, but he wants to recklessly play with the emotions and hopes of the Taiwanese people. By whipping up this non-starter issue, Chen basically showed that he has nothing else better (or more constructive) to do, then to antagonize China and continue his "de-Sinization" efforts. And by extension, he's ticking off the United States, too.

Taiwan's UN membership will continue to be just a dream as long as Chen, or any DDP politician holds the presidency of Taiwan. The only chance, and a remote one at that, of Taiwan actually gaining membership in the UN is if the island achieves some normalization of relations with China. That would entail high-level bilateral talks that lead to a more open relationship between the sides.

Until then, Taiwan should stop wasting all this emotional capital on a sure loser. Taiwan has very few allies (24 nations with diplomatic ties, out of 192 UN members) to help its cause, and the U.S. has already shown its displeasure in this latest go-around.

Besides, a UN membership means nothing but paying dues -- and with Taiwan having the world's 16th largest economy, that means a lot of dues. So all that money can go to the pockets of some third-world despot. Taiwan should just be thankful that it's not part of that worthless mess anyway.

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