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A Case Study on U.S. Assistance in Support of

Taiwan’s Participation in the International

Civil Aviation Organization

Yeh-chung Lu

Department of Diplomacy, National Cheng-chi University

No. 64, Sec. 2, Zhinan Rd., Wenshan District, Taipei 11605, Taiwan



International space and participation are salient issues to the gen-

eral public and government in Taiwan. Taiwan has sought to rejoin the

United Nations




with different approaches since 1993, but these

efforts have yet to result in Taiwan’s full participation due to the con-

straints put forth by the Charter of the UN, complicated relations be-

tween Taiwan and other parties including China, and Taiwan’s do-

mestic politics. In recent years, Taiwan shifted its strategy to “mean-

ingful participation,” and the government is willing to be flexible on

the conditions under which Taiwan participates in inter-governmental

organizations. Since 2009 Taiwan has continued its attendance to the

World Health Assembly




, and was invited as a guest to the

General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization




in 2013.

Due to Taiwan’s unique status in world politics, support from the

U.S. is crucial to Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.

Based upon the case study on Taiwan’s participation in ICAO in 2013,

this paper argues that the U.S. as a facilitator helped Taiwan garner

support from the international community and resulted in China’s acqui-

escence. Taiwan’s strategy for future participation in international or-

ganizations for which statehood is not a prerequisite is further discussed.

Key Words


U.S.-Taiwan relations, International Civil Aviation Or-





, meaningful participation, Cross-

Strait relations