Former Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) CHEN Chien-jen (陳建仁) arrived in the Holy See on 3 September, a few days after The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published an assessment on human rights concerns in Xinjiang. Our former Vice President Chen visited the Vatican to attend the beatification ceremony for Pope John Paul I, and also to let the world know about Taiwan’s adherence to freedom and democracy while Taiwan has been facing increasing challenges over the years.
Last month, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) used Speaker Pelosi’s visit to ROC (Taiwan) as a pretext to carry out military exercises in areas surrounding Taiwan is a gross violation of Taiwan’s rights under international law. Furthermore, it affected international air and shipping routes and jeopardized aviation safety in the Taipei Flight Information Region (FIR) and neighboring FIRs. In an effort to avert danger and alleviate safety concerns, the Civil Aeronautics Administration of Taiwan (Taiwan CAA) had to hastily plan for and guide aircraft, including many foreign aircraft, departing, arriving in, or transiting the Taipei FIR. This definitely caused a serious impact on international transportation and trade, and undermined regional peace and security.
To the international society that is another vivid example of how an autocracy ensures its hegemony over other countries and neglects universal values. According to the OHCHR’s report and the UN News, the Chinese ≪Government policy in recent years in Xinjiang has “led to interlocking patterns of severe and undue restrictions on a wide range of human rights.” The systems of arbitrary detention and related patterns of abuse since 2017, said OHCHR, “come against the backdrop of broader discrimination” against Uyghur and other minorities.” “This has included far-reaching, arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms, in violation of international laws and standards”, including restrictions on religious freedom and the rights to privacy and movement.
At this critical time, Taiwan, a beacon of democracy in Asia and a force for good in the world, is blessed with the support of Hon. Philip J. Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon. Alva Romanus Baptiste, Minister for External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation and Diaspora Affairs, Cabinet Ministers as well as those friends from the allies in the region, and like-minded countries as the US, Japan, the UK, France, Germany, etc. Taiwan is extremely grateful for their standing with us when we are defending our sovereignty, our security and our democracy.
The 77th session of the UN General Assembly was held on 13 September and then the 41st session of the triennial ICAO Assembly will be held on September 27. As a nation founded on democracy, freedom and human rights, Taiwan continues to work with countries around the world that uphold universal values to further safeguard human rights. Even though, sadly, Taiwan is still unable to participate in the UN and its specialized agencies, including the ICAO, due to the wrongful interpretation of UNGA Resolution 2758 and relentless suppression by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The UNGA Resolution 2758 determined who represents “China” in the organization only, but it never takes a position on Taiwan, nor does it include the word “Taiwan.” The long-term status quo is, the ROC (Taiwan) and the PRC are separate jurisdictions, with neither subordinate to the other. The people of Taiwan can only be represented in the international community by their free and democratically elected government.
As an epidemiologist at Academia Sinica, our former Vice President CHEN Chien-jen attended the second Global COVID-19 Summit hosted by the US this May. Former Vice President Chen said at the meeting that Taiwan is a small island with a big heart. We have provided significant international humanitarian assistance to fight the spread of COVID-19.
In Saint Lucia, Taiwan collaborates with the Saint Lucian Government in the field of agriculture, youth economy, women empowerment, education, capacity building, ICT, infrastructures and so on.
Further, Taiwan is committed to combating climate change, with a blueprint for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and policies in place to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, the Taiwan CAA has made every effort to maintain the strong safety record of the Taipei FIR while diligently adhering to relevant antipandemic measures and complying with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices.
As the world’s 22nd-largest economy in terms of GDP, Taiwan is well capable and pleased to devote itself to honouring the commitments of a responsible member of the international community. That is the reason why Taiwan is regarded as a reliable and indispensable partner, and the people of Taiwan always stand ready to contribute. The 23.5 million Taiwanese people surely should not be excluded from the UN system, such as UN, ICAO, UNFCCC and WHO, as they deserve to enjoy the same rights as the people of other nations.