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Taiwan restarts drive for UN membership

Taipei, 4 August 2000

The new DPP-government in Taiwan is making a new push to join the United Nations, arguing that the world body could be a good forum for Taiwan and China to settle their differences

Fourteen of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Africa, Central and South America are writing to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, proposing that the United Nations consider Taiwan's plea to rejoin the organization at the upcoming UN General Assembly in September 2000.

"We called on the United Nations to regard the recent goodwill we have demonstrated to China and to provide a forum for reconciliation between the sides," Vice Foreign Minister Wu Tzu-dan told reporters in Taipei.

"Since the United Nations is dedicated to resolving international disputes, it should admit the island and let China face the reality of Taiwan's existence", Wu added.

Each year since 1993, Taipei has mounted the campaign for representation in the United Nations. In doing so, the former Kuomintang government responded to pressure from the DPP, but submitted the application under the anachronistic "Republic of China" name.

The newly-elected DPP government of President Chen Shui-bian is expected to give less weight to the name issue, but will emphasize the rights of the 23 million people of Taiwan to be represented in the world body, as well as the contribution Taiwan can make as a full and equal member of the international community.

In an interview with Business Week, published in a cover article in the beginning of August 2000, President Chen referred to Taiwan several times as "a sovereign and independent country" and said that the people of Taiwan expect the government to take them back into the United Nations.

For further arguments for Taiwan's membership in the world body, see our page "Let Taiwan join the UN."