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China ‘mischaracterizing’ U.N. resolution: U.S. official

Washington, April 29 (CNA) China is mischaracterizing United Nations Resolution 2758 for its own interest by conflating it with its “one-China principle,” Mark Lambert, the U.S. Department of State China coordinator and deputy assistant secretary for China and Taiwan, said Monday.

Speaking in a seminar held by the German Marshall Fund, Lambert called for support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the international community at a time of China’s increasing misuse of Resolution 2758.

Resolution 2758 had a clear impact by changing who occupied the China seat at the U.N., Lambert said.

“Today, however, the PRC (People’s Republic of China) increasingly mischaracterizes and misuses Resolution 2758 to serve its own interests,” Lambert said.

“Beijing mischaracterizes the resolution by falsely conflating it with China’s one-China principle, and wrongly asserts that it reflects an international consensus for its one-China principle,” he added.

Resolution 2758 was adopted by the 26th U.N. General Assembly in 1971 to solve the issue of China’s representation in the U.N. system. It ultimately led to the U.N. expelling Taiwan, officially named the Republic of China (ROC), and the PRC taking its place.

The resolution passed on Oct. 25, 1971, recognizes the PRC as the “only lawful representative of China.”

Taiwan and U.S. governments have repeatedly argued, however, that it does not mention Taiwan, does not state that Taiwan is part of the PRC, and does not explicitly authorize Beijing to represent Taiwan in the U.N. system.

According to Lambert, the one-China principle refers specifically to China’s position, that it claims Taiwan to be part of China.

“To be clear, Resolution 2758 has absolutely no bearing on countries’ sovereign choices with respect to their relationships with Taiwan. Such decisions are clearly outside of the UN General Assembly’s purview to dictate,” Lambert said.

The U.S. official emphasized that China was aiming to influence decisions made by partner countries regarding their relationships with Taiwan by conflating Resolution 2758 with its one-China principle.

He said the resolution did not constitute a U.N. institutional position on the political status of Taiwan and did not preclude Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the U.N. system and other multilateral fora.

“Through its misuse of Resolution 2758, China has denied the international community the ability to gain from Taiwan’s valuable contributions to global challenges, which require us all to work together,” Lambert said.

Lambert said that a good step would be inviting Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer slated for next month so it can join the effort in fighting emerging health threats and planning for global health challenges.

Had Taiwan been able to share its knowledge of public health ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak, “the world might have been a very different place. Taiwan’s exclusion from key international fora has a direct negative impact on the well-being of the global community,” Lambert said.

Taiwan took part in the WHA, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), as an observer from 2009 to 2016, when relations between Taipei and Beijing were smoother under the then Kuomintang government in Taiwan.

However, since 2017, China has pressured the WHO not to invite Taiwan to the WHA, in retaliation against President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, who took a harder line against Beijing.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Frances Huang)


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