Mon, Aug 27, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Lu says UN rejection damaged sovereignty

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The UN's rejection of Taiwan's ratification of the UN convention on women's rights has drawn high-level attention in the US and seriously damaged Taiwan's sovereignty, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cited UN Resolution 2758 when he rejected Taiwan's request to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in March on the grounds that Taiwan is part of China.

Lu said that the development had turned the tables on Taiwan in terms of seeking US support with its sovereignty issue.

That's why President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) decided to "endure the humiliation" of accepting low-profile treatment during his transit stop in the US en route to Central America, Lu said.

"Winning the war is more important [than losing the battle]," she said.

On Chen's way to Honduras, the first leg of his trip to three Central America countries, he was only granted a 50-minute refueling stop in Alaska.

Lu said that the UN's statement made by Ban had inflicted significant damage on Taiwan's sovereignty because the issue hadn't been put on the table at the UN.

Lu made the remarks yesterday when answering a question from a member of Taiwan Heart, a pro-independence group she founded.

Taiwan has called on the US to take the UN's statement seriously and the US has privately demanded the UN correct its statement, Lu said.

Although the US has diplomatic ties with Beijing and recognizes the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the representative of China at the UN, it disapproves of the statement arguing Taiwan is part of the PRC, she said.

Meanwhile, the vice president yesterday voiced her concern over the possible consequences of two referendum bids about the country's entry into the UN.

A referendum bid launched by Democratic Progressive Party suggests the country apply for UN membership under the name of "Taiwan," while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) pushes for a referendum calling for the country's return to the UN and other international organizations under a "practical" name.

The two parties plan to hold the referendums alongside the presidential election next year.

The possible result of two referendums being held simultaneously will be that neither one will succeed because of the high threshold required for approving a referendum, Lu said.

In accordance with the Referendum Law (公民投票法), for a referendum to be accepted, it is not simply a matter of gaining the support of half the voters who actually vote, but, rather, of more than half of all the people eligible to vote.

Lu suggested that the two proposals be merged and the question of the referendum be re-designed as "whether you stand for Taiwan's entry into the UN."

"Joining the UN is everyone's hope, why don't we work together on this? I believe more than 95 percent of the public will support the [merger] proposal. Only if the referendum succeeds would it be meaningful," she said.

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