New York, Officials from all 17 of Taiwan's diplomatic allies gathered in New York on Thursday with President Tsai Ing-wen to say that Taiwan should not be excluded from the international community.
This includes the World Health Assembly (WHA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The diplomats made the statement during a special reception hosted for Tsai at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York, where she is making a two-day stopover en route to the Caribbean. Among the foreign dignitaries, Lois Michele Young, permanent representative of Belize to the United Nations, said the people of Taiwan should not be excluded from the international community.
"It's unbelievable that in this day and age when they [Taiwan] are fighting against terrorism, fighting against money laundering, fighting against corruption, that you have a nation that is perfectly behaving itself, is dealing with all the issues that we are fighting against, and we are excluding them [the people of Taiwan]. How ridiculous can that be," Young said.
Each year, representatives of Taiwan's diplomatic allies deliver a joint letter to the United Nations to support the country's request to play a more active role in the international body.
The Belize official said she expects the letter this year to urge the U.N. to lift restrictions on Taiwanese media covering U.N. events, as well as allowing Taiwanese with Republic of China passports to visit the U.N. headquarters in New York. Inga Rhonda King, the permanent representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the U.N., said her country cherishes its relationship with Taiwan, adding that she was happy to meet with President Tsai in New York.
Asked whether her country has been pressured to switch ties to China, King responded that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will stand by its principles.
"We will not say that we are being pressured by the People's Republic of China, what we will say is that we stand on our principles, of which we are very proud, and I repeat, we, the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, respect and observe the 'One China civilization' with its many political expressions," she explained.
The first Caribbean ally Tsai will visit is Haiti, where she will tour a Taiwan trade exhibition with Haitian President Jovenel Moise and attend a state banquet on July 13.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel