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International relations

50 years after China's admission, Taiwan remains shut out of UN

Taipei's exclusion from agencies such as WHO draws global condemnation

TAIPEI -- For two decades in its early years, the United Nations had a credibility problem. It claimed to represent the nations of the world, yet the People's Republic of China, which was home to roughly one-fifth of humanity, was not a member.

That changed on October 25, 1971, with the admission of the People's Republic to the global body, where it took one of the five permanent veto-wielding seats on the Security Council. The government it displaced, the Republic of China, had ruled China before being toppled by Mao's revolution and fleeing to Taiwan in 1949, where it imposed brutal martial law on the island for 38 years before democratizing in the 1990s.

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