Sat, Aug 14, 2004 - Page 3 News List

China moves quickly to counter Taiwan's UN bid

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese authorities have taken issue with a proposal in support of UN membership for Taiwan, warning in a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that "there is only one China in this world," the Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

According to the report, China's acting permanent representative to the UN, Zhang Yishan (張義山), delivered a letter addressed to Annan during a meeting on Thursday with his first deputy, Louise Frechette.

The letter reiterated that "the People's Republic of China's government is the only legitimate government with the right to represent all of China," that "Taiwan is a territory of China," and that "the question of Taiwan's right to representation at the UN does not exist," Xinhua reported. Frechette responded during the meeting that the Secretary-General has always insisted upon and abided by UN resolutions, the report said.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Richard Shih (石瑞奇) said yesterday that China's response was a repetition of previouis statements and a manipulation of the truth.

He said if Taiwan were to join the UN it would benefit both sides of the Strait.

Representatives of 15 of Tai-wan's diplomatic allies put into motion the country's 12th attempt at rejoining the UN on Wednesday when they proposed that "The Question of the Representation of the 23 Million people of Taiwan in the United Nations" be included as a supplementary item on the agenda of the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly. The proposal will be reviewed by the General Assembly's General Committee on Sept 15.

In the past, under pressure from China, the General Committee has opposed the addition of Taiwan's supplementary item to the assembly agenda.

This year as in previous years, China has moved quickly to block Taiwan's efforts to regain UN membership. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan (孔泉) said on Wednesday that China took a stance of resolute opposition to the joint proposal put forth by Taiwan's allies, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"Since 1993, the Taiwan authorities have instigated those countries that have diplomatic relations with it to put forward proposals for Taiwan's joining the United Nations. This is firmly opposed by the Chinese people as a whole, including Taiwan compatriots," Kong was quoted as saying in the online English version of the Communist party mouthpiece People's Daily.

"There is only one China in the world and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government that represents all Chinese people," Kong said.

Although Taiwan was a founding member of the UN, it lost its seat in 1971 with the passage of Resolution 2758, which restored "the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China -- as the only legitimate representatives of China" and expelled "the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations."

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