Letters & Opinion

The Republic of China on Taiwan – A Vibrant and Democratic Country

Dear Editor:

On October 10th, 2023 the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan was 113 years old. This is without a doubt a milestone for the country and if Sun Yat Sen, the Founding Father of the ROC was alive today he would have been a very happy man in that his vision for the country was realized and fulfilled, more so now that it is a vibrant and democratic country. However, he would have been happier to see ROC’s meaningful participation in the United Nations family in respect to its agencies that deals with humanitarian affairs such as Health, Aviation, Climate Change and United Nations Framework convention on Climate Change (UNFRCCC) and others.

What is intriguing is that despite being unable to participate in numerous key international organizations or establish formal diplomatic ties with many nations, Taiwan is fully committed to fulfilling its international obligations and contributing to the world community. However, it must be said that the United States, European Union and other major countries have backed Taiwan’s expansion in agencies such as the ICAO, the U.N. framework Convention on Climate Change and the World Health Organisation. What is intriguing is that 140 countries and territories have accorded visa-free or landing visa privileges to ROC nationals.

Taiwan is now a fully vibrant democratic country and the Taiwanese people are proud of this. On 13 January they had their recent elections and this went without a hitch regardless of how hard China tried to disrupt the occasion, but commonsense prevailed because of the nature of the Taiwanese people. When I speak about Taiwan and its place in the global world I do so with a passion and because of the friendliness of the Taiwanese people and their vibrant democracy.

I am really proud of them because they have treated Saint Lucia and others as equals and with due respect. At times I try to understand why Xi Jinping cannot just concentrate on making China great instead of interfering with the internal politics of Taiwan. China is having very serious financial problems. Economically they are not sound and internal strife is beginning manifest itself.

The recent elections in Taiwan were cool, calm and collective despite Beijing plan to undermine Taiwan at every opportunity. China promises aid to countries but instead put these countries in debt and floods these countries with their own countrymen and women. Nauru’s break from Taiwan is a clear form of retribution in the wake of Taiwan’s presidential and legislative election results. This is without a doubt an attempt to isolate Taiwan from the international community.

The Taiwan government made this promise that it will continue to work with its allies and likeminded partners as a force for good in the world and to uphold regional peace and stability. This peace and stability is also the thinking of the United States in that area of the world. Taiwan is therefore pivotal to that peace and stability.

The message I therefore want to send to the countries who pander to the threats of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) is that ‘the vital life of a democratic nation like Taiwan should not be limited nor violated by anyone, more so by the propagandist who are highly paid.

I take this opportunity to remind the United Nations that for over seven decades the ROC has met the universally accepted criteria for sovereignty, specified in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. In my view it is time that they observe the rights of Taiwan who is not ruled by China but has ruled itself for over seventy years.

Democratically, Taiwan is indisputably a state, and has never been part of the authoritarian People’s Republic. The word authoritarian is clearly shown in the way the PRC has gone about running Hong Kong despite all the promises initially made of not interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs after the British handed the country back to the PRC.

What has intrigued me is the audacity of the PRC, a Communist country which has never governed the ROC, a democratic country which is being threatened by Beijing, to be annexed by force if necessary. The Succession Act was passed in 2005 solely as a threat to invade Taiwan should they seek independence which in theory they have had since 1945 when the Potsdam Proclamation calling for Japan’s unconditional surrender and the carrying out of the Cairo Declaration in restoring Taiwan to the ROC.

What the leaders of the world must take into consideration is that the ROC plays a crucial role in the Global economy notably in the realm of electronics. In 2006 it was the 17th largest trading nations, outperforming 90 percent of the world’s nations. It also remained the fourth largest holder of foreign exchange reserves at present. Its GDP per capita expressed as purchasing power parity ranks close to that of Belgium, and other successful countries of the world. These are remarkable strides that should convince the world of the significance of the ROC and the role it should be playing in a Globalized world.

The ROC is not asking much of the world community only to continue to live in peace and tranquility to participate in global issues that affect its country and above all to share its experiences of development with other countries that needs its expertise. This in effect is the humanitarianism of what the ROC has become.

Denys Springer

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