Despite support from Ozzy Osbourne (see here), Taiwan's bid for United Nations admission has been rejected, again, making this the fifteenth time Taiwan has been denied since it began its attempts for UN membership in 1993. As mentioned in a previous post, the UN charter says that "Membership in the United Nations is open to all other [non-founding] peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations." There is no doubt that Taiwan is a peace-loving state, willing to accept the obligations that would be put upon it by the UN if membership was granted. However, the authoritarian China has once again bullied the rest of the world into refusing democratic Taiwan's bid for membership.
In a recent interview, Taiwan President Chen Shui-Bian said, "The Chinese government is trying to push us up against a wall. We are not part of the UN because Beijing does not recognize us as a sovereign state. Besides, Beijing insists on its One China policy, and Beijing oppresses us by claiming that we are merely a local government. This demeans us and weakens our position. But 23 million Taiwanese know that Taiwan is a sovereign state and that under no circumstances do we belong to China."
Whether China will invade Taiwan is slowly transforming into simply a question of when, and the general opinion seems to be that China will not invade before the 2008 Olympic Games. Taiwan President Chen said, "Western countries should not overlook the fact that the Chinese threaten Taiwan militarily. They had about 200 missiles pointed at us in 2000. Today it's 988. Beijing has increased its military budget by a double-digit percentage each year since 1989. An anti-secession law was adopted in 2005, creating a legal basis for an attack on Taiwan. The Chinese military is expected to be capable of attacking Taiwan by 2010, and conquering the entire island in a single strike by 2015. The world should not ignore these facts."
The United States is obligated by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 to defend Taiwan from military aggressors, including China. However, since 9/11, China has become an indispensable ally of the US, who needs China to diplomatically handle the threats of North Korea and Iran. The US is too bogged down in the war in the Middle East to defend Taiwan from an invasion by China. Consequently, the Bush administration is opposed to either country unilaterally disturbing the status quo.
Yuan Jing-Dong, professor of international policy studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, said the following in an excellent article entitled, China, US delicately Juggle Taiwan:
The Sino-US relationship has evolved into one characterized as cooperative, constructive and candid or, to quote President Bush, "complex". Beijing and Washington cooperate on a whole range of issues, from the North Korean and Iranian nuclear challenges, to the environment and global warming, to the "global war on terrorism". China and the US have become ever more interdependent economically, with bilateral trade surpassing US$300 billion this year.
Both have come to recognize the importance of handling the delicate Taiwan issue. Washington seeks to maintain the status quo so it can stay focused on its "war on terrorism" and on combating the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Beijing recognizes the role that the US can play in reining in Taiwanese independence even as it continues its military preparation to deter and respond to such a scenario.
It is my opinion that the only possible way the US can invade Iran is if it sells out Taiwan. Despite its obligations to the US and the UN, China has been selling weapons, missile technology, and nuclear technology to Iran, which are used to bolster Iran's military as well as the military forces of its allies that are in Afghanistan and Iraq (see here). Obviously China realizes that if the US ever wants to defeat its enemies in the Middle East, it will have to make a deal with China, and the US's best bargaining chip is the island of Taiwan.