Add Taiwan to the International Atomic Energy Agency

Defense One
Date: August 24, 2020
By: Andrea Stricker

Once a near-nuclear power, Taipei has since been an exemplary anti-proliferator — in cold contrast to Beijing.

Washington recently showed solidarity with Taipei by sending a delegation led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the most senior U.S. official to visit Taiwan in decades. But amid rising Chinese efforts to infringe the sovereignty of its neighbors, including provocative military maneuvers and verbal threats, the United States can do more to protect Taiwan’s independence — starting with galvanizing support for Taipei’s membership in international organizations and UN agencies.

There is an especially strong case for Taiwanese admission to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors global nuclear proliferation. Taiwan has stellar non-proliferation credentials, whereas China bears responsibility for the proliferation of nuclear-weapons technology to some of the world’s most dangerous regimes. But it is Taipei that was ejected from the IAEA, thanks to the UN’s 1971 decision to switch official recognition to the People’s Republic of China on the mainland — and Taipei that has been blocked by Beijing as it bids to join or rejoin various international organizations, pacts, and regimes. 

Taiwan not only adheres to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty despite its official non-member status; it is a top performer. Assisted by a U.S.-IAEA-Taiwan agreement, Taipei applies the IAEA’s highest standard of “integrated safeguards” to its civilian nuclear program, as well as the watchdog’s rigorous verification agreement, the Additional Protocol.     [FULL  STORY]

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