Taiwan launches advertising campaign in U.N. entry push

TAIPEI, Taiwan, The China Post Staff

Taiwan is launching an advertising campaign in the United States and Europe, protesting the Republic of China’s “unfair” exclusion from the United Nations, officials announced yesterday.

Beginning Monday, ads will appear in the New York Times, Washington Post, some Belgium media, and public places near the U.N. headquarters in New York, officials with the Government Information Office said. “Is Taiwan’s exclusion from the U.N. FAIR?” asks one of the two sets of ads for the campaign. The other set of ads features two color blocks one on top the other. The one on top is red with the inscriptions “Authoritarian CHINA,” and the bottom one is green with “Democratic TAIWAN.” On the border of the two blocks is an unequal sign, said Lee Nan-yang, director of GIO’s International Information Services Department. “This ad wants to emphasize that China is not Taiwan, and China cannot represent Taiwan in the United Nations,” said Lee. The campaign is part of the island’s 12th consecutive bid to join the United Nations, from which it was ousted in 1972 when China was admitted. GIO Director General Lin Chia-long, who was accompanying Premier Yu Shyi-kun on a visit in Central America, was cited as saying in Nicaragua that planning for the advertising campaign started more than a month ago. “First, we want to protest our political isolation. Second we want to stress that it’s unfair to exclude Taiwan from the U.N.,” said Lin. Please see LAUNCHES on page

“The U.N. is a global family, and it’s an injustice to exclude Taiwan’s 23 million people,” he added.

Past attempts have been quickly squashed by China, and observers say this year’s campaign is likely to meet the same fate.

The ads refer to the island as “Today’s Taiwan,” followed by the official title “ROC” — a designation apparently in line with Premier Yu’s use of “Taiwan, ROC” while addressing the Honduran parliament last week. Lin said Yu’s use of “Taiwan, ROC” was meant to give emphasis to Taiwan’s autonomy. The island was governed by Japan for five decades until the end of World War II. It has ruled itself since 1949 when the communists took over China.

But Beijing claims that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory and that the island — 160 kilometers off China’s southeastern coast — should not be allowed into global organizations like the United Nations.

As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, China has the political clout to round up enough support to block Taiwan’s efforts.

“The United Nations should be an organization that pursues fairness and justice,” the GIO said. “But the way the Taiwan issue is dealt with is unfair.”

Lee said the ad campaign cost about US$160,000, a sum similar to previous budgets for the same purpose. Taiwan had also launched an advertising campaign during this year’s Olympic Games, but Athens later removed all the ads reportedly due to pressure from Beijing.

China has long said the Taiwanese can be part of the United Nations if they simply accept the reality that the island is an inseparable part of China and unify with the mainland.