Timeline for the PRC restoring its lawful seat at UN
Published: Oct 24, 2021 09:03 PM

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Editor's Note:

The return of People's Republic of China (PRC) to the UN has not been an easy way but a long struggle. Since the PRC was founded, the Central People's Government has been the only legitimate government representing all the Chinese people. It naturally deserves the seat at the UN. But due to the manipulations of the US, China's representation had long been kept off the UN agenda. On October 25, 1971, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed the No. 2758 Resolution, restoring all the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. The Global Times tracked the timeline of key moments before and after the PRC delegation's debut at the 26th UNGA.

At 16th Session of UNGA in1961

The issue of China's representation was submitted to the 16th Session of UNGA held in 1961 for deliberation. 

Subsequently, the US proposed that the issue be discussed as an Important Question (IQ) that required a two-thirds majority to pass, attempting to distort the nature of China's representation.

At the 25th Session of UNGA in 1970

Despite US obstruction, a growing coalition of countries supported the PRC in restoring its lawful seat at the UN. At the 25th Session of UNGA in 1970, when the number of votes for restoring China's lawful rights and expelling the KMT representatives for the first time exceeded votes of opposition (specifically, 51 votes in favor, 47 votes against), applause swept through the Assembly Hall.

Reluctant to accept the result, the US cooked up a resolution on so-called "dual representation," and claimed that the UN should not be asked to choose between Taipei and Beijing.

At the 26th Session of UNGA on September 21,1971

At the session, three draft resolutions on China's representation were submitted. Heated debates among member states lasted for a week from October 18 to 25. 

The US and some other Western countries lobbied around changes to the proposal, attempting to draw the Third World countries into their orbit.

The IQ resolution was rejected with 59 votes against, 55 votes for and 15 abstentions. 

The PRC finally restored its seat at the UN, which truly made the UN the most representative international organization in the world.

November 9, 1971

The delegation left Beijing on a special Chinese aircraft, stopping over in Yangon, Karachi, Athens, and Paris due to the lack of direct flights to the US.

November 11, 1971

The delegation arrived at Kennedy Airport, welcomed by many countries' representatives and UN officials, while the delegation head, also then vice foreign minister Qiao Guanhua, made a short speech on the tarmac.

November 11-14, 1971

The main members of the delegation paid respects to then president of the General Assembly, Indonesian former foreign minister Adam Malik, delegations of friendly nations and then UN secretary general U Thant who was hospitalized.

November 15, 1971

The delegation entered the UNGA conference hall, surrounded by the warm embrace of other delegations and hearty congratulations. Following some introductory remarks, then head of the delegation Qiao delivered a speech amidst thundering applause.