Taiwan president comes under fire for fresh UN bid

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian came under fire Wednesday from opposition parliamentarians over his insistence on sending another membership application to the United Nations, despite refusals by UN Secretariat.

Taiwan president comes under fire for fresh UN bid
Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian came under fire Wednesday from opposition parliamentarians over his insistence on sending another membership application to the United Nations, despite refusals by UN Secretariat.

"Taiwan's image would be hurt in the future if the government continues to rashly defy the international situation," Su Chi of the Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT) said, referring to a fresh bid by Chen to apply to join the global body under the name "Taiwan."

Ignoring UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's rejection of his last request, Chen re-sent the island's application to Ban on July 27, disputing Ban's refusal, saying he had no right to unilaterally snub the island's bid without having the General Assembly discuss the issue, according to presidential spokesman Lee Nan-yang.

Lee confirmed in a news conference in Taipei Wednesday that the fresh application already reached the office of the UN secretary general on Tuesday.

Lee said the president also wrote to Wang Guangya, China's permanent representative to the United Nations who was rotating president of UN Security Council for July, demanding that the General Assembly deal with the island's application directly.

Lee revealed that Chen decided to resend the application in order to bring the issue to the attention to the international community and highlight Ban's "unreasonable decision" and China's international suppression of Taiwan.

It was the second time Chen sent the application to the UN secretary general directly, though his government has made the same request at the General Assembly without success in the past 15 years.

Citing the UN's "one China" principle, Ban rejected the island's membership application on the grounds that Taiwan is not a sovereign state and is a part of China.

Taiwan and China split at the end of a civil war in 1949.

Beijing, which still considers the self-governing island an integral part of the mainland with no sovereign right to join international organizations, has opposed the island's campaign to join the United Nations.

China has also warned Chen against holding a referendum on the island joining the global body in the name of "Taiwan," seeing it as a first step to a vote on Taiwan independence.

Beijing has repeatedly warned that if the island declares formal independence, it will attack Taiwan.

Washington, an informal ally of Taiwan, has opposed Chen's plan to hold the UN referendum, saying it would only escalate cross-strait tensions.

KMT's Su on Wednesday said Chen actually wants to use the UN membership referendum issue as a political tool to win support for his independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party ahead of the presidential election in March.

He said it was not right for the island's leader to do so as it would only hurt Taiwan's international image in the end.

His colleague John Chang said it was crystal clear that Chen's bid was election-oriented as the island's president understood perfectly well that his attempt would be fruitless in the face of the UN's "one-China" stand.

DPA
Last Mod: 02 Ağustos 2007, 12:26
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