Fri, Sep 07, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Hsieh pans Ma over `Taipei, China' label

JUST AN EXAMPLE The KMT presidential candidate said he would not use the name to apply to the UN and that his mention of the label was misinterpreted

By Mo Yan-chihand Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh, right, is accompanied by DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, second left, as he catches fish yesterday at the Bajia fish farm in Yuanshan Township, Ilan County.

PHOTO: HU CHIEN-SEN, TAIPEI TIMES

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday condemned Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for implying that applying for UN membership under the name "Taipei, China" could be an option.

"Entering the UN under the name `Taipei, China' would have a great impact on the nation. We should have confidence in Taiwan as a country and we can't make concessions on the national title," Hsieh said yesterday during a visit to Ilan County.

Hsieh accused Ma of contradicting himself by saying "Taipei, China" would be an acceptable title for a nation. He also challenged Ma's capability to handle diplomatic issues and international crises.

What Ma said illustrates the difference between Ma and Hsieh, DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓) said in a separate setting yesterday, adding that Ma is running for the position of chief executive of Taiwan, a position tantamount to the chief executive of Hong Kong, while Frank Hsieh is running for the presidency.

In response, Ma yesterday rebutted the report that he had said "Taipei, China" was an acceptable name for the nation and said the KMT would not use that name to apply to the UN.

"I was discussing the current diplomatic situation and `Taipei, China' is not my proposal and is not acceptable to me or to others," Ma said during a visit to Pingtung County.

When asked to comment on President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) criticism of the KMT's UN referendum bid as self-deceptive, Ma on Wednesday defended the party's proposal for the nation to apply to the UN under a practical title, citing some examples of different titles the nation had adopted to join international organizations under difficult diplomatic circumstances.

These included "Chinese Taipei" for the Olympics and "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu" at the WTO and "Taipei, China" during the Asian Development Bank annual meeting in 1986.

"I had mentioned it before in the context of Mainland Chinese delegates having changed the title of our delegates to `Taipei, China,' and our delegates always responding by putting up a plaque with the word `protest' on it although they still participated in the meetings," Ma said.

As the two parties continued to bicker over their UN referendum proposals, Hsieh and DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday called on the KMT to support the DPP's proposed UN referendum and join forces to push for the country to join the UN under the name "Taiwan."

"The UN referendum bid is important and the whole world is watching. I think the two parties can sit down and discuss the issue," Hsieh said.

"Taiwan is our mother. All of us are living on the same land and of course we should join the UN under the name `Taiwan,'" Yu said.

KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday said the party would continue pushing its UN referendum proposal.

"There's no way that the KMT will give up promoting the UN referendum bid. We've made it our party's policy and all party members should spare no efforts to support the bid," he said.

Meanwhile, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday called on the KMT and DPP to revoke their UN referendum proposals, which he said were both election schemes.

"The proposed referendums to apply for UN membership or to return to the UN are driven by election ambitions. We should stop doing this," he said.

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