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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday marked 50 years since the United Nations recognised the People’s Republic of China. Xi celebrated the move as a “victory for the Chinese people” in a speech marking the occasion.
On October 25, 1971, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 2758, which Xi said recognised that the government representatives of the People’s Republic of China founded in Beijing in 1949 were the “only legitimate representatives of China in the UN.” It was a “great event” for the “new China” to get its rightful seat in the UN, he said.
Xi did not expressly refer to Taiwan in his speech. China’s admission to the UN at the time meant that the representatives of Taiwan, formally known as the Republic of China, were expelled.
The Kuomintang Chinese Nationalist government fled from China to Taiwan after losing a civil war to the Communists, who founded the People’s Republic of China in Beijing in 1949. Taiwan has been a self-ruled democracy ever since, but Beijing considers the island part of China and has threatened to conquer it to achieve what it calls reunification.
Taiwan says UN resolution 2758 only deals with China’s representation in the UN system, rather than with Taiwan’s status.
“It does not say that Taiwan is part of the [People’s Republic of China], nor does it authorize the PRC to represent the people of Taiwan,” Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou reiterated Monday. “Only the democratically elected government of Taiwan has the right to represent its 23.5 million people in international organizations at the UN and other international forums,” Ou said.
Because of Beijing’s “One China” principle, diplomatic partners cannot officially have diplomatic relations with Taipei at the same time as Beijing.
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