Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Taiwan Government Sent Ban Ki-Moon Protest Notes

Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian and Foreign Minister James Huang are pushing the envelope by sending separate protest letters not only to the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, but also to Wang Guangya, the PRC ambassador to the UN. The main purpose was to again request UN membership under the name of “Taiwan.”

Chen made the first application on July 18, but the UN Office of Legal Affairs rejected the letter by citing UN Resolution 2758.

Chen stressed that it is unconscionable for the international community to consider Taiwan’s UN bid as an attempt to change the nation's name. As a popularly elected president, Chen said his duty was to safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty, dignity and safety. “We must come up with a different strategy to fight for the rights of the 23 million people of Taiwan….. Taiwan is a sovereign state and not part of the People's Republic of China,” he said.

James Huang held a press meeting as well to announce he had sent his own protest letter to Ban Ki-moon last Thursday, stressing that Ban’s interpretation of Resolution 2758 did not reflect the reality across the Strait and within the region.

Last week, Ban Ki-moon defended his rejection of the application by saying that Resolution 2758 “clearly mention[s] that the government of China is the sole and legitimate government and the position of the United Nations is that Taiwan is part of China.”

In his letter Huang addressed that the UN Charter stipulates that only the Security Council and the General Assembly have the authority to decide on UN membership applications, and thus the UN Secretariat does not have the discretion to reject such an application. “[Ban's] interpretation is incorrect, illegitimate and contradictory to regional realities. Therefore, it cannot and should not be taken as the legal basis to turn down our application,” Huang said.

In addition, Huang addressed the US concerns over the matter, explaining that Taiwan's application for formal UN membership did not violate the "four noes pledge" President Chen made at his inauguration in 2000, on the grounds that Taiwan's UN bid has nothing to do with changing the country's title.

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