By Beichman, Arnold
Insight on the News , Vol. 10, No. 39
President Clinton and the Congress live, it seems, by a double standards. There is the moral code that demands establishment of democracy where it does not exist. Thus, the Great Debate rages on about whether to invade and occupy Haiti in order to restore a dubious democracy to that tragic, impoverished land. American soldiers may be lost if an invasion occurs. But no sacrifice is too great to establish democracy.
Then there is the moral code that ignores another island nation on the other side of the world. That country's democratic credentials are sound, its friendship for the United States long proven, its economy is solid. (Its 21 million people have created the 13th-largest trading nation in the world, with an amazing $80 billion in foreign-exchange reserves.) It has a legal multiparty system and honest elections, free trade unions and a free press. Yet few dare openly to support it in the name of the same democratic morality that impels Clinton and Congress to plan an invasion of Haiti.
I am talking about the Republic of China, Taiwan, an outcast in the international community since October 1971 because communist China so decreed -- with the whole-hearted cooperation of the Nixon administration. The question of Taiwan will come before the 49th session of the United Nations General Assembly under the doctrine of universality that once was used to press for communist China's admission to the United Nations. That doctrine argues cogently that U.N. membership should be open to any country regardless of ideology or political orientation.
In July, 12 U.N. members -- Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Nicaragua, Niger, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands and Swaziland -- had the courage to submit a resolution that seeks to create an ad hoc committee to consider "the exceptional situation of the Republic of China on Taiwan ... in accordance with the established model of parallel representation of divided countries at the United Nations. …