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New York

China blocks Taiwan's attempt to join UN

New York, 8 September 2000

In the evening of 7 September 2000, the United Nations' Steering Committee for the upcoming General Assembly decided not to put the issue of Taiwan's membership on the U.N. General Assembly's agenda.

The committee's chairman, former Finish Premier Harri Holkeri, made the ruling after representatives from 47 nations opposed the proposal. Nineteen nations - primarily African and Latin American allies of Taiwan - supported the measure, which had been proposed by 14 of Taiwan's allies in the UN on 3 August 2000.

While the United States did not oppose the measure, it did not support it either.

It was the first attempt to join the United Nations since newly elected President Chen Shui-bian's took office in May 2000.

The UN decision prompted an angry response from the Foreign Ministry in Taiwan, which called Beijing's action an attempt at "hegemony" which hurt feeling on the island. "Communist China still cannot depart from the hegemonic mentality in blocking again the proposal to discuss UN membership for Taiwan by the General Assemly," said foreign ministry spoksman Henry Chen.

"Our participation in the UN is not only a reasonable request but also a pursuit international justice," Chen said, adding that the Taiwan government would continue seeking a seat in the world body.