Tue, Sep 18, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Coverage shows UN bid strategy is correct: Shieh

THE PEOPLE'S WILL The Mainland Affairs Council rebutted Beijing's claim that the president had led a march in Kaohsiung that advocated `secessionism'

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The amount of international coverage of the nation's bid to apply to the UN using the name "Taiwan" was three times higher than when the nation's official name, the Republic of China (ROC), was used in previous years, a government spokesman said yesterday.

Government Information Office Minister Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said 1,600 articles had been published so far, and that more than 90 percent of the opinion pieces were in favor of Taiwan joining the UN.

Shieh said the number of Taiwanese marchers taking part in a rally to support the nation's UN bid in the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the UN building in New York this year also hit a record high -- approximately 4,000 -- almost seven times more than in previous years.

UNAMBIGUOUS

"All this proves that using the name `Taiwan'is smart, pragmatic and unambiguous, and gives the country a chance to earn a UN seat. It gets the country out of the ROC and PRC [People's Republic of China] entanglement," he said.

The ROC's UN seat was given to the PRC in 1971.

Shieh, returning to the nation early yesterday morning after his one-week visit to New York to promote the UN bid, made the remarks at a press conference.

"Taiwan has no chance of entering the UN this year, maybe not next year either, but it's the beginning of an opportunity. If we keep on using the name `ROC,' we will never have a chance," Shieh said.

Meanwhile, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) issued a strong protest on Sunday against China's criticism of the DPP's rally for the UN bid in Kaohsiung the previous day.

BEIJING'S BLAST

The council issued a press release after China's Taiwan Affairs Office blamed President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for leading a march that advocated "secessionism" and the "de jure independence of Taiwan."

Rejecting China's condemnation, the MAC press statement said Saturday's parade was a display of the Taiwanese public's common determination to pursue representation at the UN and a protest against Beijing's constant military threats against Taiwan's democratic way of life and political system.

When Taiwan holds its presidential election and a referendum on the UN bid next March, the people of Taiwan will again confirm their resolve to seek a UN seat in a democratic vote, the statement said.

The rally in Kaohsiung and one in Taichung organized by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) show that the quest for UN representation is a common goal of Taiwan's political parties, the council said.

China should not continue ignoring this reality and should instead recognize the "status quo," that Taiwan is an independent sovereign state, and stop obstructing the UN bid, the council said.

See:

Admit Taiwan to UN, academic says

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