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Friday, September 10, 2004

Manila Times > Taiwan seeks RP support  for membership in UN

By Jowie F. Corpuz , Correspondent
The Taiwanese government urged the Philippine government to support TaiwanÂ’s bid to become a member of the United Nations.
“We believe that Malacañang should decide its own policy based on the Philippines’ national interest and not on Beijing’s interest. Maybe it’s about time to institute a parallel but separate One-Taiwan policy,” said Wu Hsin-hsing, head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, which is Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Manila.
He said Taiwan respects Manila’s “One-China policy,” which considers Taiwan a province of China, but urged the Philippines to build on its relations with Taipei independent from China.
The official gave the statement during a press briefing on Thursday at the Mandarin Hotel in Makati City.
TaiwanÂ’s appeal to the Philippines coincided with TaipeiÂ’s campaign to garner support for its bid to become a member of the United Nations when the UN General Assembly convenes on September 24.
Wu told reporters that while only 15 countries signed a petition last month urging the world body to include Taiwan on the agenda of its upcoming session, “40 or 50 will support or voice their idea or express their sympathy.”
Taiwan has diplomatic ties with 27 countries, 15 of which signed the petition. Wu refused to name other countries that he said had assured Taipei of their support.
The official also challenged UN members to prove its stance against political apartheid by accepting TaipeiÂ’s application. The Philippines is currently one of the nonpermanent members of the UN Security Council.
“If universality is the core principle of the UN, then the complete exclusion of Taiwan poses a moral and legal challenge to the international community that is tantamount to enforcing a senseless policy of political apartheid against the 23 million Taiwanese,” Wu said.
He said the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 admitting Beijing to the UN on October 21, 1971, did not mention Taiwan as part of the Chinese mainland.
“It did not address the issue of representation of the people of Taiwan. It did not determine that Taiwan is part of the People’s Republic of China, nor did it confer on the mainland the right to represent the people of Taiwan in the United Nations and its related organizations,” Wu said.
Taiwan’s appeal for support is likely to face difficulties in Malacañang following President Arroyo’s three-day state visit to Beijing, where she reiterated Manila’s commitment to the One-China policy.
Taiwan, however, is confident that its seven years of lobbying for Philippine support will bear fruit after Manila abstained from voting on TaiwanÂ’s application to become an observer in the World Health Organization.
“I want to thank the Philippine government for abstaining and not giving a no vote, the first time that it has happened in years. We hope the same gesture of friendship would be shown by Ambassador Lauro Baja and that he can also vote for us or at least sympathize in the UN,” Wu said.
TaiwanÂ’s supporters are seeking UN recognition for the self-governing island for the 12th year in a row, a move which sparked an immediate and strong protest from China.
Wu acknowledged TaiwanÂ’s bid may fail again because of ChinaÂ’s opposition.
Two-thirds of the UN General Assembly must vote favorably for TaiwanÂ’s application for the country to be included in the UN.
-- With AP report

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