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Why don't they belong?

Of the world's 193 countries, only two are not full members of the United Nations (UN): Taiwan and Vatican City. Why is this?

Taiwan has been locked in a decades-old dispute with mainland China. In 1949, Communist forces under Mao Zedong seized control of mainland China. Nationalist government leaders fled to the island of Taiwan, and established the Republic of China. For more than 20 years, the UN recognized Taiwan as the government of China. Eventually, the U.S. and other nations formed closer ties to the Communist mainland. In 1971, the UN recognized the Communist People's Republic of China and severed ties with Taiwan. Today, China and a majority of the world's countries do not consider Taiwan to be an independent nation.

Vatican City is not a full member by choice. Considered the world's "smallest fully independent nation-state," it is surrounded by the city of Rome, Italy. Vatican City serves as the base of power for the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See--Vatican City's government--has had "observer" status in the UN since 1964. Since July 2004, it has had the right to participate in member-nation discussions, but it has no vote.

Study the information provided here about these two nonmember nations. Then answer the questions below.


1. How many countries are full members of the UN?


2. Which of the nonmember countries is smaller?


3. Who heads the smaller state's government?


4. Which of the nonmembers was established first?


5. Which one is an island?


6. What is the name of Vatican City's government?


7. Taiwan considers itself an independent nation, separate from what country?


8. When did the government of Taiwan split from that country?


9. When did Taiwan lose its UN membership?


10. Do you think that one or both of the nonmember nations should be full members of the UN? Why or why not? -


1. 191

2. Vatican City

3. Pope Benedict XVI

4. Vatican City

5. Taiwan

6. the Holy See

7. China

8. 1949

9. 1971

10. Answers will vary.
 Taiwan Vatican City

LAND AREA 13,969 square miles 109 acres

POPULATION 22,700,000 921

HEAD OF President Chen Shui-bian Pope Benedict XVI

DATE OF ORIGIN 1949 1929
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Title Annotation:SKILLS MASTER 1
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Date:Oct 17, 2005
Previous Article:Citizens of the world.
Next Article:Newsmakers tic-tac-toe: who are these world leaders?

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