A special correspondent
Hsinchu, TAIWAN, Dec 5, 2018: For asserting that they are Taiwanese, two women waitresses lost their job in Sydney, Australia. When the owner of the Chinese restaurant asked them their nationality, they said they are Taiwanese.
But, the Chinese boss wouldn’t agree. He insisted that they are Chinese. The two women wouldn’t budge. The furious employer fired them on the same day.
This was one of the real stories Professor Victor Hsu, well known ecumenical leader shared in his presentation on “Taiwan’s international status – An international orphan,” on the second day of Taiwan Ecumenical Forum (TEF) meeting held here on November 29.
TEF was established as a response to the recommendation of an international consultation on “the mission of the Church in Taiwan today,” held in this north-east Asian country in February 2017.
Professor Hsu, coordinator of Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) TEF Task Force narrated another story that actually took place in 2015. A Taiwanese tourist visiting Geneva decided to go to the United Nations Office. She was denied entry by the security officers and rejected her Taiwanese passport and ID card. She was asked to come back with a valid Chinese passport.
The UN policy to reject entry to Taiwan passport holders is not something new. They have been denied entry to UN offices in New York as well simply because they were passport holders of the Republic of China (Taiwan) which is not a UN member.
Taiwan has no membership in the UN and in most of the UN related organizations, like the World Health Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization. Professor Hsu told the gathering.
Taiwan’s application for a membership in Interpol was rejected recently, Professor Hsu said.
Expressing concern of the people of Taiwan and the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), the ecumenical leader with wide global ecumenical experience noted that Taiwan is being marginalized and is “almost like an international orphan.”
The country has been subjected to threats and bullying tactics of China, he said, adding that Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity are “inviolable and should be safeguarded.”
According to Hsu, Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity in the international community must be asserted with the strong support of friends in the international community.
Professor Hsu, a former associate general secretary of the PCT and currently an adviser to the PCT general secretary, urged TEF participants and churches across the world to share information about the aspirations and hope of the Taiwanese people to “participate and contribute their expertise and soft power in the community of nations.”
He also urged to share information with “your own government officials about the recent developments that impact negatively on the security, dignity and sovereignty of the people of Taiwan.”
Responding to the presentation, Reverend Levi Bautista of the United Methodist Church and currently the president of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Status with the UN said that “Victor’s high regard for his own people and his own church comes through clearly and passionately in his presentation.”
According to him, the presentation exudes an assertion about the dignity of the Taiwanese people. “This is an important assertion because dignity undergirds the assertion of security and sovereignty.”