"A new UN rule now bans Taiwanese scientists from attending all UNESCO
events, according to the International Centre for Theoretical Physics
(ICTP), prompting many scholars, both Taiwanese and Western, to
criticize the policy as discriminatory.
After applying to attend a virtual conference on quantitative biology
late last month, Yeh Chih-Fu (葉治甫), a Taiwanese PhD student at Stanford
University researching community ecology and biodiversity, on Dec. 1 on
Twitter posted a rejection letter from ICTP stating "UN rules" dictate
that Taiwanese nationals cannot attend, despite the fact that the
institute considers him a "scientifically worthwhile participant."
Out of frustration, the next day Yeh posted a tweet in which he included
an advertisement for the event. He sarcastically wrote that a line
should be added after "Female scientists are encouraged to apply" that
states "Taiwanese scientists will not be accepted."
National Taiwan University professor of sociology John Liu (劉仲恩)
responded on Twitter that the rule had apparently been implemented in
2019. He then quipped: "You'd think it must be for some really political
event, ahem, no, it's for a winter school for quantitative systems biology."
On Dec. 3, Alexander Sullivan, an international relations Ph.D. student
at Georgetown University, retweeted Liu's post and observed how powerful
China has become in the UN under the Trump administration. He then
condemned UNESCO for constricting Taiwan's government and restricting
participation by Taiwanese scientists in line with Beijing's political
Via Olaf BX7AAH, who wrote "Of course this is China's influence on the
UN. And yes, Donald Trump did greatly contribute to that, since even US
foreign policy was all about him, never about anything else. This
ridiculous rule was apparently instated in 2019 and is only getting
noticed now. After politics and health, the PRC is now trying to get
Taiwan out of academics. I’m curious how far other countries let the
bully get this time." and subsequently via Doc Edward Morbius.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics