Having a seat at the table in international governmental organizations is not just important for Taiwan’s dignity. It is necessary to protect and enhance the well-being of the 23 million people who live in Taiwan as well as important for people all around the world who can benefit from Taiwan’s expertise and resources. Moreover, enhancing Taiwan’s role in the international community gives its leadership the confidence it needs to continue negotiating with Mainland China to solve problems and, over time, find peaceful ways to bridge differences. Marginalization and isolation of Taiwan must be avoided. An economically prosperous and thriving Taiwan is critical to the U.S. and to the international community. Taiwan is also a vibrant democracy that serves as an example to other countries in the region and the world – it is the only Chinese democracy. Taiwan’s voice in the international community deserves to be boosted, not drowned out.
Bonnie S. Glaser is a senior adviser for Asia in the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) where she works on issues related to Chinese foreign and security policy. She is concomitantly a senior associate with CSIS Pacific Forum and a consultant for the U.S. government on East Asia.
The following piece was adapted from the CSIS report: Taiwan’s Quest for Greater Participation in the International Community.