This Day in History: China Signs the UN Charter

By Anna Priymak, June 25, 2022

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On June 26, 1945, leader of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek became the first of 50 national representatives to sign the UN charter at a UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco.

After the horrendous events of WWII, a decision was made by 51 countries* to establish an organization committed to maintaining international peace and security and improving living standards and human rights: the United Nations.

China was among those who were part of the agreement, and is now part of the 'Big Five,' having a permanent seat on the UN Security Council – along with the UK, France, Russia and the US.

The charter was made with the help of China, and they were granted the honor of being the first to sign it due to the recognition of their long-standing fight against aggression.

The charter went into effect on October 24, 1945, and United Nations was officially established.

But it doesn’t end there; when it comes to China’s status in the UN, there were some bumps along the way.

After the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in October 1949, Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China regime – which had retreated to the island of Taiwan – took over the seat of China due to the decision made by the US to block the membership of the People's Republic of China.

However, 22 years later on October 25, 1971, Albania's motion to recognize the People's Republic of China as the sole legal China was passed as General Assembly Resolution 2758.

On November 15, 1971, Beijing’s representatives took their seats in the General Assembly; a week later, China restored its status as a permanent member in the Security Council (AKA that 'Big Five' mentioned above).

The Republic of China, on the other hand, entered a new uncertain state of existence – in which it remains today.

*Poland was not represented at the Conference, but signed the charter later and became one of the UN's original 51 Member States.

For more This Day in History stories, click here.

[Cover image via Wiki]

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