Taiwan is “ready, willing and able” to play its part and contribute to the global fight against international criminal activity.
That is the message from Ambassador Alexander Tah-ray Yui, of the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium.
Speaking exclusively to Modern Diplomacy, he said that it is also vital Taiwan takes part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
China sees self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing’s control. China’s President Xi Jinping has said “reunification” with Taiwan “must be fulfilled” and has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve this.
But Taiwan sees itself as distinct from the Chinese mainland, with its own constitution and democratically-elected leaders.
Tensions have risen in recent weeks with some fearing a military invasion by China.
Addressing its inability to join Interpol, the global anti-crime agency, the ambassador, based in Brussels, Belgium said as that crime becomes increasingly transnational so “it is essential that the global response mirrors this trend and increasingly emphasises international cooperation.”
In a wide ranging interview, the diplomat told Modern Diplomacy, “The unjust and politically motivated exclusion of Taiwan from the INTERPOL system only serves to weaken international law enforcement by creating a gap in the global system.”
As for the UNFCCC, he said that since climate challenges similarly know no borders and demand a collective international response, “it is critical” that the global approach to climate change “encompasses the spirit of comprehensive inclusion and cooperation.”
He said, “In confronting the global and existential threat of climate change, international unity must be non-negotiable.”
I also asked how damaging is his country’s absence from these organisations and what is has to offer.
He said Taiwan is globally recognised as a leader in public security and law enforcement, adding, “Moreover, the country’s proven track record and expertise in tackling a range of criminal activity, including growing international threats such as cybercrime and human trafficking, highlights the tangible benefits and expertise that allowing Taiwan’s participation as an observer INTERPOL’s annual General Assembly would bring.”
He says that as a “responsible” member of the international community, Taiwan is committed in the fight against climate change and has implemented a range of policies to this end.
Just over the course of the last year, he said the government codified the 2050 net-zero emissions goal into law, upgraded the Environmental Protection Administration to the Ministry of Environment, and established the Taiwan Carbon Solution Exchange. Taiwan’s exclusion from the UNFCCC means a loss of the valuable contributions of Taiwanese expertise to the global environmental efforts, as we seek to move towards a more sustainable future for all.
So, what more can the EU and others do to help Taiwan’s cause?
On this, he said, “It is important for us that like-minded countries and lawmakers across Europe continue to publicly express support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in INTERPOL and the UNFCCC, as well as other international organisations.
“The growing support for Taiwan’s international participation over recent years only goes to demonstrate the increasing global recognition of the important and constructive role that Taiwan can play in these, and also in many other areas.
“The international community should place cooperation above politics when it comes to vitally important global issues such as climate change and combating transnational crime. Every capable nation, regardless of political interference, must be given an equal opportunity to work together and address these crises,” he said.
However, despite some saying the West has “cow-towed” to pressure from China, he refrains from levelling any criticism at the EU or elsewhere.
He said, “Any expression of support for Taiwan’s international participation is deeply appreciated by the government and people. Taiwan will continue to seek deeper involvement in organisations such as INTERPOL and the UNFCCC, and encourages other like-minded partners to speak up for Taiwan, particularly in arenas where the country has no voice of its own.”
Meanwhile, he says Taiwan will “continue to work directly with the EU and Member States to develop greater cooperation on pressing issues of global importance.”