Fri, Jul 13, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Unstoppable trend drives UN campaign, Chen says

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Like the unstoppable democratic trend which ended 38 years of martial law, nobody can hinder the nation's quest to deepen democracy, which includes joining the UN under the name "Taiwan," President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.

Chen said he did not consider the lifting of martial law to have been the result of a benevolent policy of a particular person, but rather the end product of the trend of the times and the current of democracy.

"It was a political revolution that no one could resist or impede," he said in an interview with Japan's Kyodo News agency on Wednesday. "Even a so-called `political giant' like then president Chiang Ching-kuo [蔣經國] had to bow before the people."

Chen said he believed the country's effort to join the UN under the name "Taiwan" in September also reflected a trend of the times that cannot be countered and a path that Taiwan had to take on its road to democracy.

Regarding the referendum on whether to join the UN under the name "Taiwan," Chen said that the Referendum Law (公民投票法) assured voters of the right to hold referendums, and it was not true democracy if the people of Taiwan were denied the final say on the country's future.

The same is true for the government's first attempt to join the World Health Organization (WHO) under the name "Taiwan" this year, he said.

Chen said nobody could stop the country's efforts to further deepen democracy, as more than 95 percent of voters supported the WHO bid and the legislature passed a resolution supporting the initiative.

Taiwan's exclusion from the UN is the key to the country's exclusion from other international organizations, he said.

While the nation respects the US government's position on the UN bid in light of Washington's need to safeguard national interest and its "one China" policy, Chen said, he hoped the US would heed the voice of the Taiwanese people.

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