The UN dilemma: Micronesian nations seeking to rescue Taiwan from isolation

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

Taiwan banked on its allies in the Pacific islands region to back its renewed bid for readmission into the United Nations, which China has been so adamant to hinder. The few loyal friends stood by Taiwan’s side.

The islands region has been caught in a tug of war between China and Taiwan as Beijing persistently attempts to put a squeeze on its former province’s few diplomatic partners.

At the 76th session of the UN General Assembly last month, Taiwan managed to secure endorsements from four island leaders who responded to its solicitation for support.

“Taiwan is ready, willing and able to work jointly with the rest of the world and contribute to UN efforts toward recovery at this critical time," Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement appealing to the international community to help lift its pariah status in the UN.

Pacific island nations recognize they have a stake in the protracted conflict between Beijing and Taipei, which compete for clout in the region that plays a key role in the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy.

The diplomatic map was redrawn in 2019 when Kiribati and Solomon Islands— the sites of China’s multimillion-dollar investments— ditched Taiwan and switched allegiance to the communist nation.

“My own Pacific islands region faces a new emerging security threat in the form of geopolitical competition,” Marshall Islands President David Kabua said at the UN assembly, urging the intergovernmental body to put an end to the "shameful silence" on Taiwan's longstanding exclusion from the UN system.

"As a people-centric institution, the UN cannot ignore the Taiwanese people or continue to use their nationality to exclude them from attending public meetings or public tours at its headquarters. The shameful silence must end," Kabua said. "The democratic government of Taiwan should be allowed to participate in an equal and dignified manner within the UN system," he added.