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At Event with UN Envoy, US Says Committed to Taiwan’s International Participation

FILE - A tourist walks past a mural on Taiwan's Kinmen islands Oct. 21, 2020.
FILE - A tourist walks past a mural on Taiwan's Kinmen islands Oct. 21, 2020.

The United States remains committed to expanding Taiwan’s space for international participation, a senior U.S. diplomat said at an event with Taiwan’s foreign minister that was also attended by the deputy U.S. 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 United Nations, saying it is a Chinese province with no right to the trappings of a state.

Speaking at a virtual panel on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals on Wednesday, Jeremy Cornforth, deputy director of the de facto U.S. Embassy the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said tech heavyweight Taiwan was committed to using its technological prowess “for the common good.”

Cornforth noted Taiwan was prevented from meaningful participation in bodies including the World Health Assembly, but said 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 Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeffrey Prescott gave closing remarks, though 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 United Nations 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.