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Thursday, October 06, 2005

China, Taiwan and the United Nations

I just love the Opinion Journal. I haven't spent much time there recently. This gem is about Taiwan and its 'role' in the UN.

Taiwan is an interesting island/country. Despised by mainland China which still considers it as its own, it struggles to gain traction in its fight to be a part of the UN. The gulf between China and Taiwan is a vital shipping link and is also rich in minerals. That's part of the reason China wants Taiwan back. The other part is because China is imperialistic. Taiwan is building itself a new embassy building in Manhattan. It got on and did it. Meanwhile at the UN
not only does the project of reforming a corrupt and ingrown system appear beyond reach, but even the matter of renovating the building itself has become a symbol of the mess within. Having already bogged down in its own scandal-ridden contracting practices and priced the renovation project at an astronomical $1.2 billion, the U.N. has been demanding that U.S. taxpayers bankroll its refurbishment plans with an interest-free loan, even though--as real estate whiz Donald Trump testified in July to Congress--"they have no idea what they're doing."
Apparently
in the grand arena of global diplomacy, office renovations are of course a sideshow. But as a symbol of the difference between the aging behemoth that is the U.N., and the lively democracy that is Taiwan, the contrast between the two renovation projects could hardly be more apt. While the U.N. reserves one of five permanent seats on its Security Council for the despotic "People's Republic" of China, plays along with the nuclear bomb program of the Islamic "Republic" of Iran and routinely clears its schedule to entertain the opinions of Fidel Castro's Cuba, the U.N. does not even offer Taiwan observer status, let alone a seat.
Yet, Taiwan has become a world leader in the ideals of the UN. The promotion of peace, freedom and prosperity. Taiwan has made remarkable progress in the last 20 years going from
martial law to free-wheeling elections, as the 23 million people on Taiwan have created China's first full democracy.
More recently, it has
also leapt from deep poverty to the ranks of the world's wealthier polities. The usual U.N. databases do not include Taiwan, but according to the CIA World Factbook, Taiwan's per capita income these days is about $25,000--which in U.N. rankings would place it in the neighborhood of such highly developed nations as Italy and New Zealand, with almost 20 times the per capita income of Red China.
Nice to see we rate a mention.

But for all this, Taiwan is still on the outer at UN. And as the Opinion Journal points out
Taiwan has blossomed beyond the wildest dreams of the U.N. aidocrats who, bereft of the defunct Oil for Food program, now hope to lavish yet more attention, and earn themselves many more U.N. per diems, in Africa. It's enough to suggest the real secret of success might be to ignore the U.N.
This year Taiwan tried to pass a motion at the UN to have it actively promoting peace in the Taiwan Strait. China was backed by Pakistan. Gambia and Chad (those world heavyweights) argued for Taiwan.
The U.N. allotted 24 minutes for the entire debate, and then briskly dismissed it as not worth including in the official agenda of the General Assembly.
My advice to Taiwan. Forget the UN. You don't need it. Aim for excellence on your own. And if your attacked by China? New Zealand will come to your rescue. We'll send NZL60 with 20 sailors armed with paper darts.
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Posted by Gooner | 10/06/2005 10:40:00 PM

3 Comments:

Blogger Chefen said...

But why would Taiwan go its own way when it can be assisted by the UN, just like these chap "UN warns Eritrea, Ethiopia not to restart war"? Can just see it, "UN warns China not to start war with Tai...", oh what's that? They just did? Oh well, sen d some peace keepers to make sure no one else starts a war there.

10/06/2005 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

"peace keepers" or "war observers" ?

10/06/2005 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

There's a difference?

10/06/2005 11:46:00 PM  

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