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How does the Chinese Government handle the relations between international organizations and Taiwan?
2004/06/16

It is known to all that the sovereignty and territory of each State is an integral whole which is indivisible and unsharable. The Government of the People's Republic of China, as the sole legal government of China, has the right and obligation to exercise state sovereignty and represent the whole of China in international organizations. Only on the premise of adhering to the principle of one China and in the light of the nature and statutes of the international organizations concerned and the specific circumstances, can the Chinese Government consider the question of Taiwan's participation in the activities of such organizations in a manner agreeable and acceptable to the Chinese Government.

Taiwan is ineligible for membership in international organizations composed of sovereign states. As to international organizations with membership open to both sovereign states and regions, Taiwan as a region of China has participated in regional economic organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Taiwan's participation is subject to the terms of agreement or understanding reached between the Chinese Government and the parties concerned which explicitly prescribe that the People's Republic of China is a full member as a sovereign state whereas Taiwan may participate in the activities of those organizations only as a region of China under the designation of Taipei, China (in ADB) or Chinese Taipei (in APEC). This is only an ad hoc arrangement and cannot constitute a "model" applicable to other inter-government organizations or international gatherings.

As regards participation in non-governmental international organizations, the relevant bodies of the People's Republic of China may reach an agreement or understanding with the parties concerned so that China's national organizations would use the designation of China, while Taiwan's organizations may participate under the designation of Taipei, China or Taiwan, China.

But in recent years, the Taiwan authorities have attempted lobbying for a formula of "one country, two seats" in international organizations whose membership is confined to sovereign states. And since 1993, they have been clamouring for "returning to the United Nations". This is a manoeuvre to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". The Chinese Government is firmly opposed to such an attempt.


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