Fri, Nov 16, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan may seek compensation over returned mail

OPTIONAL Taiwan Post said it had resent all returned mail and that it would no longer stamp mail with the UN postmark starting today unless senders requested it

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

Government Spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday that the government may seek compensation from China for returning letters and parcels bearing a postmark supporting Taiwan's entry into the UN.

The "UN for Taiwan" postmarks are part of a campaign ahead of a referendum planned for March on whether the nation should apply to join the UN using the name "Taiwan" instead of the official title of the Republic of China.

Shieh's announcement came in the wake of China's statement on Wednesday that it had returned all mail and parcels bearing the UN campaign slogan.

China's action violated the contract signed between Shanghai Post and Taiwan Post Co Ltd making it obligatory for both parties to deliver any letters and parcels, Shieh said.

Based on the contract, letters and parcels sent from Taiwan to China are transported to Shanghai Post before they are delivered to recipients, Shieh said, adding that postal rates paid by Taiwanese are shared by the two parties.

Taiwan Post, a government-controlled postal company, said late on Wednesday it would no longer use the UN stamp starting today unless senders requested it.

The details of a compensation claim are still under consideration, Shieh said.

He said he respected the decision by Taiwan Post to drop the postmark.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday lashed out at Taiwan Post for stamping the letters.

"Taiwan Post must compensate the senders for ignoring their rights and wasting their time because of its unilateral decision to stamp all mail and parcels with such a postmark," KMT legislative caucus whip Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) said.

Chang Chin-mu (張金木), section director at Taiwan Post, said his company had reacted promptly by halting the practice and had resent all the returned mail.

He said he did not think the company should provide further compensation to customers.

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