Sunday, August 14, 2005

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples

For the last 13 years, the ROC has been applying to regain the United Nations seat it lost 34 years ago. Reuters, in the understatement of the week, called Taiwan's chances of gaining membership "slim." I think China was more accurate in calling the attempt "doomed."

The ROC also frequently applies for membership in the World Health Organization (WHO) and has used the SARS crisis to illustrate why it should be allowed to join the health agency, as demonstrated in this movie. That application also has little chance of success.

One guaranteed way to get attention, and possibly sympathy, for its causes (and irk China to no end) is aligning with other unrepresented peoples. Along this line of thought, Taiwan and Tibet appear to be planning closer relations.

It is a logical enough strategy. Human rights violators join together to support nonintervention in the affairs of other states. The four countries seeking seats on the UN Security Council have joined together to amass votes for their efforts. Why shouldn't Taiwan take a similar path and try to establish good relations with other territories seeking independence, or recognition there of?

The only question is: After Tibet, where should Taiwan look next? I don't know that too many of the unrepresented nations and peoples listed here could help Taiwan's cause. Friendships with Chechnya, Kurdistan, or Aceh would be more likely to get Taiwan pegged as a state sponsor of terrorism than gain it a spot on the UN or WHO. I guess East Turkestan is a possibility, but such an friendship would certainly seem to validate China's notion that letting Taiwan have de jure independence would destroy China (the 'if Taiwan goes, Tibet or the Uighurs will follow' theory). That is certainly not in Taiwan's interest. I guess it is just going to be Taiwan and Tibet, at least for now.