Tue, Aug 14, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Vice president warns of Beijing's UN scheme

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday urged the administration to map out a contingency plan in response to reports that Beijing planned to ask the UN to vote on Taiwan's sovereignty next month.

Lu said she was worried that Beijing might come up with a strategy that would put Taiwan in a difficult position if the administration's pursuit of a UN bid continued to test Beijing's nerve.

Lu also expressed concern that the administration might not be well-prepared to counter Beijing's scheme by presenting convincing arguments in defense of Taiwan's sovereignty and by making the right connections with people inside the UN.

"I hope the speculation is not true, but I won't be surprised if it is," she said. "I hope that whoever designed the UN bid for the president will take a pro-active approach and formulate an effective strategy to respond to [Beijing's move]."

Lu made the remarks in response to a report by the Washington-based newsletter the Nelson Report claiming that Beijing was likely to propose a vote on Taiwan's sovereignty during the UN General Assembly on Sept. 18.

While Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has said that China's plan has a lot to do with President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) aggressive push to apply for entry to the UN using the name "Taiwan," Lu said this was not the time for criticism because Chen had already written and sent the letters to the UN.

"I'm not sure what Beijing is planning to do, but those who are in charge of the matter must take it seriously," she said.

Lu said that no progress had been made in the previous 13 failed UN bids, therefore the the country must brace itself for sharp pressure after the administration's change of tack this year.

In related news, Chen yesterday criticized the US government for misinterpreting Taiwan's UN bid as a "personal matter," saying it was an expression of the desire of Taiwanese to join the UN.

Chen said that as Taiwan and the US shared common interests in maintaining peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region, he did not want to see any misunderstanding or miscommunication between the two countries sabotage bilateral relations.

Chen made the remarks while meeting US Representative Eni Faleomavaega at the Presidential Office yesterday afternoon.

The president said that the US' stance on the use of the name "Taiwan" baffled him, noting that the Taiwan Relations Act is not called "The Republic of China Act" and that the visas issued by the US government to Taiwanese show "Taiwanese" as the nationality.

"But when we want to use the name Taiwan to join the UN, we receive unnecessary pressure," he said.

The president said that while he realized the US government was against the content of the proposed UN referendum, Taiwan would not immediately become a UN member even if the referendum passed.

"The will of the people of Taiwan is strong," he said. "It does not amount to changing the country's name and it is necessary to let the world hear the voice of the people and pay attention to their desire."`

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