TAIWAN: UN referendums in March
Monday, February 04, 2008
Reports reaching the Daily Observer revealed that Taiwan will hold two referendums next month on joining the United Nations, the island's election commission says.
According to reports monitored from BBC, the two referendums have been proposed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the opposition Kuomintang.
Taiwan has no seat at the UN, having lost it to China in 1971. Its attempts to regain membership have been blocked.
Beijing has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, when the defeated Nationalist government fled to the island as the Communist Party swept to power.
The island's latest attempt to rejoin the UN, for the first time under the name Taiwan, was blocked in September.
Mr Teng said the DPP-proposed referendum next month would ask whether voters "agree that the government should seek to join the UN in the name of Taiwan to express Taiwanese people's will and enhance Taiwan's international status".
The referendum proposed by opposition KMT, which wants closer ties with China, will meanwhile ask whether the island should seek to "return to the UN with a pragmatic and flexible approach".
The KMT referendum proposes joining the UN using either the official name, Republic of China, Taiwan or any other suitable designation.
Taiwan's President, Chen Shui-bian, has defended the DPP's referendum, saying it is not provocative but "only a policy that respects public opinion".
Author: by Ebrima Jaw Manneh