Friday, August 3, 2007

President Chen Shui-bian Vows to Continue Taiwan's Bid for the UN

After the return of a letter he sent to China's UN representative Wang Guangya, Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian made a remark yesterday re-addressing that he will persist with the bid for joining the UN.

Last week, Chen sent letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Beijing's UN representative Wang Guangya, in which he asked them to reconsider Taiwan's application for joining the world body.

Wang Guangya told UN correspondents on Wednesday that he returned Chen's letter the same day that he received it. Meanwhile, according to China’s Xinhua news agency, Wang expressed his firm opposition by saying that there is only one China in the world and that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. Wang called Taiwan’s latest move as “a very serious separatist act seeking independence for Taiwan.”

This year, Taiwan’s government adopted a new strategy by applying for the UN membership under the name "Taiwan" in order to emphasize the country’s sovereignty, democracy and independence.

Chen, in the latest issue of his weekly e-newsletter, mentioned that more than 77 percent of the Taiwan public supported the bid to join the UN under the name of Taiwan. Chen said, “We can accomplish this mission impossible if we solidify a public consensus…We want to let the world hear the voice of the Taiwanese people.”

Taiwan’s Vice President Annette Lu said separately yesterday the government has to listen to the public and realize their dream of joining the UN.

Chen said that Taiwan had been excluded from the international community for too long, and China had repeatedly rejected the nation's sovereignty and suppressed Taiwan’s influence. “Taiwan, which is a liberal democracy, should not be isolated from world,” he stressed.

“We will keep trying until the international community and the UN acknowledge our democratic development and accept Taiwan as a full member,” Chen addressed. He further said that a planned referendum on whether or not to join the UN under the name “Taiwan” must be held.

(Excerpts from the Taipei Times)

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