U.N. URGED TO TAKE STEPS TO AVERT CROSS-STRAIT CONFLICT
ROC Central News Agency
New York, Aug. 11 (CNA) More than 10 Republic of China diplomatic allies filed a request with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Thursday urging him to appoint either an envoy or a task force to look into the Taiwan Strait situation.
According to Andrew L.Y. Hsia, director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, the request reflected the "international community's expectations" that the United Nations take steps to safeguard cross-strait peace and avert any conflict in the region.
Noting that the United Nations passed Resolution 57/337 in July 2003 on the prevention of armed conflict, Hsia said Annan should take necessary measures to encourage and assist the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in peaceful dialogue and exchanges.
In the U.N. charter, Hsia went on, prevention of war and conflict is one of the most important obligations of U.N. members. Since the Taiwan Strait is widely seen as a potential flashpoint, he said, the United Nations is obliged to assist in resolving cross-strait disputes and preventing armed conflict. "This year marks the U.N.'s 60th founding anniversary. Annan has come up with many U.N. reform programs. We think that our diplomatic allies' request bears special meaning," Hsia said.
Also Thursday, Taiwan's diplomatic allies presented another request asking the U.N. to address the representation of the 23 million Taiwan people in the world body. This is the 13th consecutive year that the ROC has, through its allies, asked the United Nations to consider its membership bid.
The ROC, a U.N. founding member, lost the "China" U.N. seat to Beijing's communist government in 1971, and since 1993 has launched annual bids to get back into the organization. The past 12 bids were quashed by China and the prospects for this year's campaign remain "unclear."
China's former Kuomintang (KMT) government lost a civil war to the communists in 1949 and fled to Taiwan, where it claimed to be the legitimate Chinese government. But it disavowed the claim in 1991 and Taiwan's leaders have drifted toward a separate Taiwanese identity.
However, China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and passed legislation in March this year codifying the use of force if Taiwan moves toward formal independence.
This year's U.N. General Assembly is scheduled to start Sept. 13. The ROC allies that filed the two requests were the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, Guatemala, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Kiribati.
(By Sofia Wu)
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