Where is Taiwan?
by Courtney Shephard -- December 17th, 2009
During tonight’s high level plenary, leaders pondering Taiwan’s absence receive a rebuke from the Republic of China.
I am currently watching the high-level plenary on video screen at the Copenhagen Forum. The high-level plenary consists of country leaders taking turns stating their views on the task at hand: climate change mitigation and adaptation. After Liberia’s Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai, finished his statement, an interesting tangent unfolded. Apparently, a few heads of state have referenced the China-Taiwan relationship and absence of Taiwanese participation at the conference. A representative of the Republic of China made the following statement (paraphrased to the best of my speed-typing ability):
There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an integral part of China. Some countries are advocating two Chinas, which is an interference to the internal affairs of China. The Copenhagen conference is significant for China – it bears on the common interest of mankind and focuses attention of whole world. All participating parties should focus on enhancing international cooperation and climate change. We hope that countries will not introduce themes into the conference that are not relevant. We want to remind the countries that mentioned Taiwan that they need to leave the internal affairs of 1.3 billion Chinese people alone.
The statement was noted by the panel and said to be taken into consideration. What are the motives of the countries in question, the ones provoking China by bringing up its controversial relationship with Taiwan? Perhaps China’s negativitytowards a political agreement at the conclusion of the negotiations? This is likely only one part of the reason, and the purpose of this post is not to debate Taiwan’s political status. I think that this is incredibly interesting because it highlights plethora of factors at play at COP15.