Last week, a 50-page study published by the German Marshall Fund of the US warned that Beijing is using its influence at the UN to compel NGOs to rewrite references to Taiwan and revise historical documents, or risk losing access, Nikkie Asia reported.
China claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
The resolution, the report pointed out, does not include the words “Republic of China” or “Taiwan.” Nor does it present an institutional position on the status of Taiwan, even though the PRC claims it does, and it just states that the PRC will represent “China” at the UN.
As per Nikkie Asia, the report said that Beijing has moved to twist the original text of Resolution 2758 in ways that construe it as equivalent to its “One China” principle. That position states that “there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is a part of China and the government of the PRC is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.”
“China’s distortion of Resolution 2758 has made it exceedingly difficult for Taiwan to participate in UN-affiliated agencies in any way,” commented Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the Marshall Fund and the report’s co-author.
Citizens from Taiwan cannot even visit UN buildings unless they have a travel permit issued by China,” said Glaser, a renowned Taiwan expert. “If democracies stood firmly against these PRC efforts, they would have a great deal of leverage.”
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the vote, Chinese President Xi Jinping last October hailed the resolution as a “victory of the Chinese people.”
The study pointed out that Chinese officials pushed authorities to suspend Wikimedia Foundation’s application for observership to the World Intellectual Property Organization because content on Wikipedia, which was hosted by the foundation, was at odds with Beijing’s Taiwan position, Nikkei Asia reported.
Last December, China objected to the participation in the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material of five NGOs, including U.S. think tank, the Stimson Center, which was asked to change references to Taiwan or risk having their attendance blocked.
Such moves hamper coordination on transnational issues that pose threats to the safety and well-being of the global community, according to the study.