How Can Taiwan Enter the United Nations?: Implications of the ROC's Quest for International Recognition

Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, University of Richmond


Most existing literature on the issue of Taiwan's admittance into the United Nations (UN) focuses on why Taiwan should have a seat in the UN, by invoking the UN's principle of universality. This paper focuses on how: the strategies and approaches.1

The government of the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan has so far adopted an open-ended yet passive strategy. In 1993 it knocked on the UN's door for the first time since 1971, when the People's Republic of China (PRC) replaced it in the UN. Taiwan requested seven Central American states to ask the UN to create an ad hoc committee to report to the General Assembly about the special case of Taiwan. In 1994, 1995, and 1996 similar proposals were put forth, endorsed by a slightly increasing number of member states who maintain diplomatic ties with the ROC. However, each year that the ad hoc committee proposal came before the General Committee, the PRC used its clout to keep the item off the agenda, although there had been considerable debate over that item. In light of these setbacks, some rethinking is beneficial. This paper will discuss several prerequisites for Taiwan's UN bid, analyze the various models for Taiwan, and evaluate the various approaches to entry. The discussions will also have some implications for the ROC's membership in other international organizations, and for the ROC's quest for a higher international status in general.