China rages over Taiwan's 'disgraceful' act with Aussie neighbours

·3-min read

China says Taiwan officials have been derided by the international community after they attempted to join Pacific islands' delegations at a United Nations conference last week.

On Monday China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the move to try and 'sneak into' the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon by joining the Tuvalu and Palau delegations opened Taiwan up to ridicule, calling such an act "disgraceful and degrading".

Taiwan's exclusion from United Nations events has been highly-publicised in recent years, with Taiwan, a democratic island state claimed by Beijing, refused membership to the World Health Organisation during the Covid pandemic due to the "One China" policy.

Taiwan is largely excluded from international organisations that have China as a member.

United Nations' Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson, on the video screen, addresses the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Friday, July 1, 2022. From June 27 to July 1, the United Nations held its Oceans Conference in Lisbon expecting to bring fresh momentum for efforts to find an international agreement on protecting the world's oceans. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
Tuvalu and Palau unsuccessfully attempted to bring Taiwan delegates to the meeting in Lisbon. Source: AP

"There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of China," Mr Zhao reiterated once again.

"The one-China principle is a basic norm governing international relations and the common consensus of the international community.

"Under the one-China principle, Taiwan has no right to participate in the activities of inter-governmental organisations such as the United Nations and its specialised agencies because such activities are limited to sovereign states."

Mr Zhao stated interference from some countries who support Taiwan would not have any impact on the one-China principle.

"It is inevitable that the Taiwan authorities will fail in its attempt to sneak into such an international conference. The degrading and disgraceful act by the Taiwan authorities has already been ridiculed by the international community."

But a US delegate said it is a long-standing practice that each member state can decide the composition of its delegation, and it should have been up to Tuvalu and Palau to decide whether to include people from Taiwan.

"No credential committee should have pressed them to remove those individuals from their delegations," the US delegate said.

Zhao Lijian says Australia is the 'real trouble' in the region. Source: FMPRC
Zhao Lijian lashed out at Taiwan's attempts to join the conference. Source: FMPRC

Pacific islands continue to drive Taiwan message

Pacifc island nations have found themselves at the centre of a strategic struggle as China looks to expand its control over the region. Australia, which has traditionally supported Pacific island nations, has rejected Beijing's advancements which came in the shape of a sweeping security deal.

The deal was eventually rejected in May as several nations pushed back on the move.

Tuvalu Foreign Minister Simon Kofe withdrew from the UN conference last week after China challenged the accreditation of three Taiwanese delegates included in Tuvalu's delegation.

Mr Kofe has made global headlines before after a striking image of him standing ankle-deep in the sea to illustrate that Tuvalu was "sinking" for his climate conference address.

Palau (left circle) and Tuvalu has shown support for Taiwan. Source: Google Earth
Palau (left circle) and Tuvalu has shown support for Taiwan. Source: Google Earth

On Friday, a representative from the tiny Pacific nation of Palau hit out at the United Nations over what it deemed a "violation of our sovereign rights".

"Ocean issues are global issues and we call on all of us to work together without discrimination," they said.

"The UN has excluded the 23 million people of Taiwan from the conversation."

On Monday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked Palau for its support.

"Although we condemn China for bringing pressure on our Pacific allies Palau and Tuvalu to make changes to their list of delegates, Taiwan will continue to work with our partners and allies around the world to combat the pollution of our oceans and to make progress towards the #30by30 goal," it said in a statement.

with Reuters

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