Sat, Aug 04, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Swaziland envoy receives returned UN bid application

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, NEW YORK

Swaziland's ambassador to the UN has received a letter containing Taiwan's UN membership application that was returned by Chinese UN Ambassador Wang Guangya (王光亞), who served as rotating president of the UN Security Council last month, Taiwanese officials in New York said on Thursday.

The letter, signed by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), was delivered on July 31 to Wang through the Swaziland and the Solomon Islands' ambassadors.

Wang told the press on Wednesday that he had returned the letter the same day that he received it.

Xinhua news agency quoted Wang as calling Taiwan's latest move "a very serious separatist act seeking independence for Taiwan" and saying that China was firmly opposed to it.

Also on Tuesday, the ambassadors of Swaziland and the Solomon Islands delivered -- on behalf of Taiwan -- another letter from Chen to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Ban, who is on a visit to Haiti and Barbados, has not made an official response to Chen's second letter. Ban returned Chen's letter of July 23 through the UN Office of Legal Affairs.

UN officials said the letter was returned in keeping with UN Resolution 2758, which they pointed out is the basis of the UN's "one China" policy.

The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1971 recognizing the representatives of the People's Republic of China (PRC) government as "the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations."

Taipei has tried without success to re-enter the UN since 1993. This year marks the first time it tried to join the world body under the name "Taiwan."

In his latest letter to Ban, Chen asserted Taiwan's status as an independent sovereign nation that is entitled to membership in the UN.

Chen argued that UN Resolution 2758 neither grants China the right to represent Taiwan at the UN nor states that Taiwan is either a part of China or the PRC.

Meanwhile, in Taipei, Reverend William Lo (羅榮光), the secretary-general of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, said yesterday that his group had prepared sample letters in Chinese, Taiwanese and English for people to send to Ban to express support for Taiwan's wish to enter the world body.

The sample letters say that Chen applied for the first time to enter the UN under the name "Taiwan" under the principle of universal membership enshrined in the organization's Constitution, and that Ban had exceeded his authority and violated the Constitution rules by rejecting the application.

It also said the PRC has never controlled Taiwan, but has constantly brainwashed people around the world with its propaganda that "Taiwan is a part of China."

UN Resolution 2758 did not decide that Taiwan is a part of China, nor does it authorize the PRC to represent Taiwan and its people, the letters say.

People interest in sending the letter can call the alliance at 02-2709-9787 for more information, Lo said.

Additional reporting by Tsou Ching-wen

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