UN Referendum US representatives back Taiwan UN bid

OVERDUE: Taiwan possesses all the qualifications to become a member and has ample resources to make a contribution to it, US Representative Dana Rohrabacher argued


Sun, Sep 16, 2007 - Page 3

Several members of the US Congress expressed their support for Taiwan's bid to gain membership in the UN ahead of a rally promoting the bid scheduled for yesterday in New York.

In a letter to the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), one of the rally's main organizers, US Representative Anthony Weiner said he deeply regretted that the UN continues to disregard the sovereignty of Taiwan and deny the right of self-determination to its people.

"There is no question that the United States must stand strong and advocate Taiwan's independence from China and inclusion as a United Nations member state," Weiner said.

Releasing a statement on the issue, Representative Dana Rohrabacher said it was incongruous that a world body founded on the principles of universality and self-determination would exclude a free, democratic and independent nation whose population is larger than three-quarters of the UN' member states.

Rohrabacher said that with Taiwan possessing all the qualifications to become a UN member and ample resources to contribute to the work and funding of the UN, the country's accession to the world body is long overdue.

"Let's tell the world how unfair it has been to deny the 23 million people of Taiwan their voice and representation in the United Nations and especially their willingness to [help] other nations in need," he said.

Also writing to FAPA, US Representative Edolphus Towns said that Taiwan is not only a free, open and independent democracy, but also a good neighbor and friend to countries in need around the world.

Towns said Taiwanese, who have demonstrated they are responsible citizens of the world, deserve a voice and a seat at the UN.

Representative Robert Andrews said that for too long Taiwanese have lived in the shadow of China, which he said has loomed so large that Taiwan has been blocked from membership in the UN.

"China must recognize that Taiwan is neither rival nor vassal. Rather, it is a neighbor," Andrews said.

Taiwan has not been represented in the UN since 1971, when the Republic of China's UN seat was taken over by the People's Republic of China. Taiwan is bidding to join the world body under the name "Taiwan."

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) sent a membership application letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on July 19, but the letter was returned on the grounds that the UN follows a "one China" policy. Chen sent a second letter to Ban on July 31 urging him to reconsider his decision, but that letter was also returned.

Throwing their weight behind Taiwan, some of the country's diplomatic allies submitted a motion to the UN General Assembly last month requesting that the Security Council process Taiwan's membership application according to established procedures, in the hope that the motion could be included as a supplementary item in the agenda of the 62nd regular session of the General Assembly set to open on Tuesday.