Fri, Jul 06, 2007 - Page 8 News List

The KMT's referendum attempts to confound

By Lai I-chung 賴怡忠

As there seems to be no way to avoid the majority support for a referendum on joining the UN, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which has consistently opposed one, announced that it wants to propose a referendum on whether Taiwan should "re-enter" the UN under the name of "Taiwan, the Republic of China" (ROC), or another name.

This seems like a pragmatic referendum, but concealed in it is the "one China" principle. If the public voted in favor of the question in this referendum, there would be no hope of Taiwan joining the UN, and it will be annexed by the People's Republic of China (PRC) even sooner.

The problem with the referendum proposed by the KMT is that it talks about Taiwan re-entering the UN as an old member, instead of joining it as a new member. As everyone knows, in 1971 the UN passed Resolution 2758, expelling the representatives of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) from the place they were occupying for China in the UN, and replacing them with representatives of the communist government.

The premise of the KMT's proposal that Taiwan re-enter the UN is that Taiwan is a part of China, but administered by the ROC government. That is why it talks about the government of the ROC re-entering the UN.

It's clear that if this proposal is carried out, it means challenging Resolution 2758, which was agreed upon a long time ago. The result can only be that Taiwan's application will be denied right away.

At the same time, it will indicate to the international community that Taiwan itself also acknowledges that it is a part of China, and it will send Taiwan back to the time when Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) contested the right of the Beijing government to represent China.

But examining the debate that surrounded China's entry into the UN in 1971, we find that although everyone agreed that the PRC should represent China, several countries pointed out that this did not mean that China should represent Taiwan.

Many countries partaking in the debate, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Afghanistan, argued that Taiwan should not be stripped of its right to representation.

This shows clearly that although Resolution 2758 decided who has the right to represent China, the question of who represented Taiwan was not touched upon.

For this reason, the only opportunity Taiwan has of becoming a member of the UN is by applying as a new member; re-entering the UN is not only not possible, an attempt to do so would also strengthen the "one China principle" of the Beijing government.

Recently, after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon inexplicably interpreted Resolution 2758 as meaning that Taiwan belongs to China, China has come very close to using the UN for de jure annexation of Taiwan.

The referendum on applying for UN membership under the name "Taiwan" has become an important weapon for Taiwan to fight back against China's attempt to implement de jure annexation.

The KMT still doesn't take heed of the international legal situation, and would take great pains to bring up a proposal for a referendum that takes Taiwan back to the "one China" principle and that is impractical and certain to fail.

This KMT-proposed referendum is an attempt to confuse and deceive the public. This flagrant attempt to deceive proves that the DPP-proposed referendum on UN membership under the name Taiwan should be carried out as soon as possible.

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