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Taiwan has its own military, currency and immigration controls. Despite these hallmarks of nationhood, the island of 23 million people cannot join the United Nations or observe the events of U.N. organizations.

After more than 10 years of trying, Taiwan has run out of applications to get inside the United Nations itself, the U.N.-backed World Health Assembly, its climate control convention and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

All applications are dead, a Taiwanese Foreign Ministry publicist said Wednesday.

China, a veto-power-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council, doesn’t want Taiwan in. Beijing views Taiwan not as a country but as part of Chinese territory. Taiwan’s legal government, the Republic of China, fled to the island after losing the Chinese civil war in the 1940s to the Communists who now rule Beijing.

Taiwan left the United Nations in 1971 as China entered, welcomed by other members for its vast population and fast-growing economy. China now has more than 170 foreign allies. Taiwan has 20.

“Why bang your head against the door again and again without any hope that it will open?” asked Coen Blaauw, executive director of the Washington-based Taiwan advocacy group Formosan Assn. for Public Affairs.

Taiwanese people want more recognition for their economy, the world’s 22nd largest, according to the International Monetary Fund, and humanitarian work overseas even in countries that don’t recognize it diplomatically. Officials in Taipei hope to get U.N. data first-hand.

“It is obvious that Taiwan's exclusion from the meetings of several of the U.N.'s specialized agencies both delays Taiwan's access to critical information and deprives the international community of contributions that Taiwan can make,” said Alan Romberg, East Asia Program director with American think tank the Stimson Center.

“The U.S. and others seek to fill the gaps for Taipei by acting as a conduit, but this cannot be a fully adequate substitute,” he said.

Three successive Taiwanese presidents have asked sympathetic U.N. member states to lobby for letting it in outright or observe sub-agencies.

Under Taiwan's past president, Ma Ying-jeou, China in effect allowed Taiwan to observe annual World Health Organization assemblies, officials on the island said then, because Ma had set aside political disputes with Beijing in order to hatch an unprecedented dialogue between the two governments. Current President Tsai Ing-wen has angered China by declining to see the two sides as part of one country.

Taiwan lost its WHO assembly observer status in May. After Tsai took office, the government last year applied for permission to participate in that group, the aviation body and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

As the United Nations opened its 72nd General Assembly session Sept. 12 in New York, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying its diplomatic allies on the inside had urged U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to see Taiwan’s point and “solve the problem” of its non-access.

Last week the 6,000-member, Taipei-based civic group Taiwan United Nations Alliance emailed all 193 U.N. members with a letter saying Taiwan’s people should not be excluded since 80% of the population is “longing to be a new member,” alliance President Michael Tsai said.

The alliance drew 1,000 people to a demonstration Saturday in Washington.

The Taiwanese government, he said, should “stand up firmly” and apply for U.N. membership by writing its own letter to the secretary-general.


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Source : http://www.latimes.com/world/la-un-general-assembly-live-updates-world-awaits-president-trumps-first-assembly-20170918-htmlstory.html

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