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At event with UN envoy, US says it is committed to Taiwan's international participation

At event with UN envoy, US says it is committed to Taiwan's international participation

Flags of Taiwan and the United States are placed for a meeting in Taipei on Mar 27, 2018. (File photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

TAIPEI: The United States remains committed to expanding Taiwan's space for international participation, a senior US diplomat said at an event with Taiwan's foreign minister that was also attended by the deputy US ambassador to the United Nations.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, blocks the island from taking part in most global bodies such as the UN, saying it is a Chinese province with no right to the trappings of a state.

Speaking at a virtual panel on the UN Sustainable Development Goals on Wednesday (Sep 29), Jeremy Cornforth, deputy director of the de facto US embassy, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said that tech heavyweight Taiwan was committed to using its technological prowess "for the common good".

Cornforth noted that Taiwan was prevented from meaningful participation in bodies including the World Health Assembly, but said that the event would highlight how Taiwan is using its technological prowess to help the international community solve shared challenges.

"The United States remains committed to expanding Taiwan's international space," he added, in comments released by AIT on Thursday.

AIT said that Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Jeffrey Prescott gave closing remarks, though it gave no details.

Washington has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is its strongest international backer, and routinely denounces Chinese pressure against the island.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told the same event that Taiwan was an "indispensable" member of the international community.

"It is now the time for the United Nations to take action to resolve Taiwan's improper exclusion from the United Nations system," his ministry cited him as saying.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Republic of China - Taiwan's formal name - being replaced at the UN by the People's Republic of China in Beijing, which continues to claim the right to represent Taiwan globally.

The democratically elected government of Taiwan says only its people have the right to speak for it on the world stage.

Source: Reuters/kg


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