One of the most prominent arguments against Taiwan’s international legal status is its lack of recognition by the United Nations. When the United Nations was formed, the Republic of China (ROC) was one of five permanent seats. After 1949, the Chinese Nationalist Party and the Republic of China fled mainland China to establish itself in Taiwan. Many believe this marks the end of the Chinese Civil War, and saw the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Chinese Communist Party to be the sole sovereign representative of China instead of the ROC.
In adherence to the One China Policy, in 1971, United Nations passed Resolution 2758:
This resolution removed the Republic of China as the legitimate representative of China or any state. The permanent seat at the security council was given to the representative from the People’s Republic of China.
Pandemics and the World Health Organization
During the 2003 SARS outbreak, Taiwan was informed too little too late due to being unable to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO). Taiwanese researchers had to stay updated using the WHO’s website instead of being directly informed. After SARS, the government realized they had to come up with an effective way of dealing with pandemics on their own because no country or global organization would be able to help them due to their ambiguous statehood status.
When Taiwan first received news of Covid-19, the government took action immediately. They were transparent and gave specific directions for citizens to follow. Taiwan immediately alerted the International Health Relations (IHR) of WHO through an email telling them the possibility of a SARS-like virus. However, IHR did not disperse information that Taiwan provided. The One China policy continues to cause strained relationships even in the face of global crisis, and in light of Covid-19 it is called into question whether Taiwan should be allowed as an official member of WHO.