Taiwan is a country, but not many other states recognize it as such. Only 13 countries maintain diplomatic relations with the island nation. These are small or poor or both, like Haiti, Paraguay, and Tuvalu. Honduras switched its diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing just one month ago.
Taiwan doesn’t have a seat at the United Nations, and it has been blocked from joining international bodies like the World Health Organization. It tries hard but rarely manages to function as a member of the international community.
For a country with around 23 million people and the twentieth largest economy in the world, it might seem strange that Taiwan gets so little respect. But Mainland China claims the island as part of its own territory. And few countries, including the United States, have been willing to challenge Beijing directly on that issue.
Of course, the United States has long challenged China indirectly by providing enormous amounts of military assistance to Taiwan (with a huge bump up during the Trump presidency) and serving as the country’s second leading trade partner for goods (Taiwan is also the tenth largest U.S. trade partner).
Moreover, despite an official policy of ambiguity, the United States has provided a number of …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies