Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chen Reaffirmed Resolve to Hold a Referendum on Taiwan's Bid to Join the UN

Prior to his departure from Taipei for a three-nation visit to Central America, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian reaffirmed his resolve to safeguard Taiwanese’s right to hold a referendum on the nation’s bid to join the UN.

This visit includes brief stopovers in Alaska; during a 50-minute transit in Alaska yesterday, Chen did not step out of the plane.

According to media reports, Washington has refused to allow Chen to set foot in the continental US or stay overnight during the transit stops as a way of expressing its displeasure with Chen’s push for a referendum on Taiwan’s bid to join the UN using the name “Taiwan.”
Chen said Taiwan would continue to communicate with the US or even engage in direct dialogue to narrow the differences between the two sides on the referendum issue.

Chen stressed that the referendum was a manifestation of direct democracy and the Taiwanese could not accept drawing a line that would limit the development of Taiwan’s democracy.
He defended the U.N. bid as not changing but instead protecting the status quo and ensuring peace across the Taiwan Strait. In so doing, Taiwan can counter the PRC push to claim Taiwan as part of China.

(Excepts from Taipei Times and Taiwan News)

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