Thu, Aug 02, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Presidential Office explains UN letters

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Presidential Office yesterday said it was not trying to be provocative by sending two letters requesting that the UN reconsider Taiwan's UN membership bid.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) sent UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a letter last Friday and another to Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya (王光亞) in which he asked them to reconsider Taiwan's request to join the organization, adding that the application should be processed in accordance with UN procedure.

The letters were sent following Chen's first letter to Ban on July 18 requesting UN membership using the name "Taiwan," a departure from previous applications that had used the name "Republic of China" (ROC).

The UN Office of Legal Affairs, however, rejected the letter on July 23, citing UN Resolution 2758.

Wang, who had chaired the Security Council when Taiwan submitted its bid, handed over the chairmanship to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Tuesday.

Presidential Office spokesman David Lee (李南陽) yesterday told a press conference that the Presidential Office expected Wang to handle the matter fairly and reasonably.

"The president sent the letter to the chair of the Security Council and not to China's representative at the UN," Lee said. "We did not deliberately pick July to pursue the matter and we would like the chair to consider the fact that Ban Ki-moon has overstepped his authority by personally rejecting Taiwan's application."

"The resolution did not authorize China to represent the 23 million people of Taiwan, nor did it say Taiwan is part of China," Lee said. "It is unfair to impose such political Apartheid on the Taiwanese people. If the international community were indifferent to the matter, it would only encourage China to further suppress Taiwan and harm regional peace and security."

Lee said that as with its "Anti-Secession" Law, Resolution 2758 is just another tool used by China to achieve "de jure unification" with Taiwan, which greatly imperils the sovereignty of the nation.

Sending letters to Ban is part of the government's strategy to internationalize the issue and let the international community hear the voice of Taiwanese, Lee said, adding that the Chen administration will continue to request help from its allies in conveying its desire to join the international body, with the hope that the issue will be debated at the General Assembly, which scheduled to hold its annual meeting on Sept. 18.

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