Thu, Aug 09, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Schriver disagrees with UN stance

ADVICE The former US official said his country should clearly state its position on a document that both Beijing and the UN have misinterpreted

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian, right, shakes hands with former US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs Randall Schriver at the Presidential Office yesterday. Chen discussed Taiwan's bid to enter the UN with Schriver.

PHOTO: CNA

A former US official said yesterday that UN Resolution 2758 does not state that China has sovereignty over Taiwan, adding that the US government should not support the UN Secretariat's interpretation of the resolution.

Randall Schriver, former US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said Washington should clearly state its position on the matter to the UN Secretariat and other member states.

Schriver made the remarks in response to questions by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) at the Presidential Office yesterday morning. Schriver, who is heading a delegation of American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for Public Policy Research specialists, arrived in Taipei on Monday for a five-day stay at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chen said he wanted to know Schriver's opinions on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's interpretation of Resolution 2758 and whether it stated that Taiwan is part of the People's Republic of China (PRC) or that the latter has sovereignty over Taiwan.

On July 27, Chen sent a letter to both Ban and Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya (王光亞), in which he asked them to reconsider Taiwan's request to join the organization. The letters were sent following Chen's first letter to Ban on July 18 requesting UN membership under the name "Taiwan," a departure from previous applications that had used the name "Republic of China" (ROC).

The UN Office of Legal Affairs rejected the letter on July 23, citing UN Resolution 2758, which UN officials said is the basis of the "one China" policy at the world body.

Chen asked Schriver whether the three US-PRC communiques acknowledge that Taiwan is part of China.

Schriver said that none of the three communiques state that the PRC has sovereignty over Taiwan and that it was necessary for the US government to reassert the "six assurances," which clearly state its position on Taiwan's sovereignty.

The "six assurances" refer to the pledge made in 1982 by former US president Ronald Reagan, in which he promised that the US would not: Set a date for termination of arms sales to Taiwan; alter the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act; consult with China in advance before making decisions about US arms sales to Taiwan; mediate between Taiwan and China; alter its position about the sovereignty of Taiwan or pressure Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China; and formally recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

Chen also said he would like to know why the US government was against Taiwan's UN bid and referendum on the subject, as the initiatives did not violate his "four noes" pledge.

Schriver said he believed that despite its concern over the issue, the US government should do its best to communicate with China. The US must remind Beijing that Washington supports democracy in Taiwan and that it opposes China's intimidation of Taiwan, he said.

During a visit to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday morning at the legislature, Schriver said he supported Chen's initiative to hold a referendum on applying for UN membership under the name "Taiwan."

Wang said Schriver has been a good friend of Taiwan as he always speaks in defense of the nation in the context of maintaining Taiwan's foreign relations and ensuring national security.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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