Thu, May 24, 2007 - Page 3 News List

DPP lambastes Chinese attacks

COMPLAINTS Three DPP lawmakers cited recent attempts by Beijing to downgrade the status of Taiwan or its supporters in international meetings

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday decried China's oppression of Taiwan by citing two recent events that highlighted Beijing's relentless attempts to downgrade the status of Taiwan in the international community.

DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) yesterday told a press conference that Liberal International (LI), a political organization supporting liberal parties at the international level, was stripped of its general consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on May 16 because of its support for Taiwan.

FRIENDS HURT

ECOSOC's Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) posted a press release on its Web site last Friday saying the decision had been reached following a complaint by China.

"That news really made me angry. I feel very sorry that [the country's] long-term ally suffered such treatment because of its friendliness to Taiwan," said Hsiao, who is LI's vice president.

Beijing's complaint came after Liberal International helped arrange for Examination Yuan President Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) to give a speech at the UN Human Rights Council in March, during which he advocated Taiwan's membership in the WHO, Hsiao said.

"It's outrageous that China not only blocked Taiwan's international space but also expanded its assault on international friends who speak for Taiwan," she said.

The ECOSOC said that China claimed the "LI had severely abused its status on March 4 by helping a ranking official from China's Province of Taiwan [sic] to gain access to a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council."

The US, Britain and Israel said the Committee on NGOs should put Beijing's proposal to a vote and give LI a chance to defend itself, but the plea was ignored and the motion was passed by a vote of 13 to 3, with two abstentions.

The London-based LI earned its consultative status in 1995 for its consistent contribution to trade, human rights and other public issues, Hsiao said.

"The removal of LI's status is a tremendous cause for frustration for the organization," she said. "It's unfair and inappropriate for the committee to make such a decision based on Beijing's accusations."

Meanwhile, at a separate press conference yesterday, DPP legislators William Lai (賴清德) and Wu Ming-ming (吳明敏) urged the World Organization for Animal Health (Office International des Epizooties or OIE) to reject a request by China to downgrade Taiwan's status within the organization.

WOAH VOTE

OIE adopted a resolution submitted by China on Monday at the committee's 75th general session to downgrade Taiwan's status to that of a "non-sovereign regional member."

Beijing's proposal said that Taiwan's title within the OIC should be changed from "Taipei, China" to "Taiwan, China."

"China deserves severe condemnation for the proposal. The OIE should put a priority on professionalism and human rights and resist political pressure from China," Lai said.

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