United Nations text needs a careful read

The China Post

In recent months, Education Minister Tu Cheng-sheng has been roundly criticized for emphasizing ideology over education. While Tu is clearly bent on following a pro-independence ideology, he has paid scant attention to the message that he is preaching. During a recent meeting with high school principals, Minister Tu claimed the Republic of China “no longer exists” based upon the 1971 resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly that ejected our delegation from the world body.

At that meeting, Tu even asked the principals to tell him what the name of our country was, since it could not be the ROC.

Apparently Minister Tu has never taken the time to sit down and actually read the text of the U.N. resolution he was so emotional about in reference to it. Resolution 2758, passed on Oct. 25, 1971, contains only four short paragraphs in total, none of which make a scintilla of reference to the Republic of China, existing or otherwise.

Setting aside the U.N. Charter fluff in the first sentence of the first paragraph, the resolution in its entirety states that the General Assembly resolved as follows: “Considering the restoration of the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China is essential both for the protection of the Charter of the United Nations and for the cause that the United Nations must serve under the Charter,

“Recognizing that the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations and that the People’s Republic of China is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, “Decides to restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it.”

Clearly, the exact language contained in Resolution 2758 only refers to “restoration” of the “lawful rights” of the People’s Republic of China, while also resolving to “expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek” from the world body. The resolution does not say a single thing about the Republic of China at all, not to mention anything about the ROC ceasing to exist. If Minister Tu had taken a brief moment to read the text of the resolution, he surely wouldn’t be facing the kind of angry criticism he has been getting from opposition lawmakers. In fact, if the text of the resolution is taken literally, we should have been able to resume our representation in the world body as soon as former President Chiang Kai-shek ceased to hold office at his death in 1975.

Obviously, Minister Tu was referring to the U.N. secretary-general’s recent remarks, in which he claimed that Resolution 2758 was the basis of the U.N.’s so-called “one China policy,” which barred the world body from admitting Taiwan. However, the minister of education should be wise enough to take the time to research the issue before making caustic remarks about it to the nation’s educators. The fact remains that until the ROC is formally abolished, such as by scrapping the ROC Constitution that currently still stands in force, the name of this country is still the Republic of China. Further, Tu should take note that while Taiwan forms the bulk of the territory under our government’s control, the ROC also has effective sovereignty over areas of neighboring Fujian province, including Kinmen and Matsu, that have never been an administrative unit of Taiwan. We have no objections to referring to our country as “Taiwan” for the sake of convenience, and there is no sin in loving Taiwan as the place where the vast majority of us live. This means that we support the idea of teaching students more about Taiwan’s history and geography, as well as instructing them in languages and culture that are native to the place that we live in. However, we strongly disagree with our education minister’s relentless drive to replace traditional education with zealous ideological propaganda. This is especially true, because it is obvious that Minister Tu doesn’t have the slightest idea what he is even talking about when he issues directions to the nation’s educators.