A Taiwanese tourist visiting the United Nations Office at Geneva was refused entry by security officers who rejected both her passport and national ID card and told her to return with a valid Chinese passport.
In an interview with UN spokesperson at the Geneva office Rhéal LeBlanc, specialist reporter Marc Engelhardt found that the PRC holds more sway at the United Nations than some might expect, even down to the guest list.
“The member state that is recognized by the international community is the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan being a province of that state. We recognize China, so the passport of Taiwan is not recognized by the UN… We have to be respectful of our member states,” said LeBlanc.
LeBlanc told the reporter that although the Taiwanese passport and ID card are not recognized by the UN, a drivers license or social security card are valid documents. He added that the rule had been in action for a long time and problems do not surface regularly.
The Taiwanese tourist’s story has certainly struck some as extremely odd because it is regularly taken for granted that Taiwanese citizens can travel through international borders with their ROC passport. Now, apparently, they also need to remember to bring their drivers license.
Resulting from Henry Kissinger’s secret visit to Beijing, Taiwan was officially expelled from the UN and the PRC resumed China’s seat in 1971. It became one of few nations, including the Vatican, North Korea and Sierra Leone, not registered as a UN member state. Taiwanese citizens themselves have been mocking the ROC passport in recent weeks, with some pushing for independence and a passport that reads the “Republic of Taiwan” instead.
Watch Engelhardt’s interview with UN spokesperson LeBlanc below :
by Daniel Cunningham