Wednesday, July 25, 2007

UN Rejects Taiwan's Bid

Last week, Taiwan’s Presidential Office has submitted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a formal application to become a member of the UN under the name Taiwan, arguing that as the world's 18th largest economy and 7th largest investor, Taiwan should not be excluded from the body. The application was signed by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, who recently announced referendum plans that would support the government in a bid to join the UN under the name Taiwan.

After Taiwan submitted the application, the Chinese foreign ministry said Taiwan's UN bid was “doomed to failure.” Taiwan and China have been governed separately since the 1949 civil war. In 1971, Taiwan was expelled from the UN when its seat was held under the name “The Republic of China” ruled by Chiang Kai-shek at the time.

However, the United Nations rejected Taiwan's application to become a member on July 24th by reiterating its adherence to “One China” policy, and cited the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 recognizing the Beijing-based authority (PRC) as the sole and lawful representative of China in the UN. “This resolution determined that the UN carries out ‘One China’ policy,” the UN said. According to the UN Chinese-language website, the application was then returned by the UN Office of Legal Affairs.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry spokesman David Wang deplored the UN’s decision, “We regret that the UN stalled the Taiwan application for political reasons…The resolution should be reviewed, as it fails to address the question of the right of representation and participation by the Taiwanese people.”

Despite the setback and concerns from Washington and Beijing, Taiwan government still plans to push ahead with a referendum on joining the UN alongside legislation election (2007) and presidential elections (2008).

Excerpts from the Washington Post, Taipei Times and BBC

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