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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan regrets EU statement about U.N. bid referendum

ROC Central News Agency

2008-03-08 13:19:18

    Taipei, March 8 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed regret Friday over a European Union statement that said Taiwan's upcoming referendum on joining the United Nations under the name of Taiwan "would risk increasing cross-strait tension."

    The ministry said that as the origin of modern democracy and the rule of law, European countries should support Taiwan's pursuit of democracy and human rights instead of joining China in suppressing it. "The European Union's repeated expressions of concern about the U.N. bid referendum are tantamount to yielding to Chinese pressure, acquiescing to China's unreasonable compression of Taiwan's international space," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

    The ministry stressed referendums are a normal democratic mechanism for people to express their opinions and that being represented in the United Nations is the right of every member of the global village.

    The U.N. bid referendum -- to be held March 22 alongside the presidential election -- is not aimed at changing the status quo across the Taiwan Strait but at calling the world's attention to the unfair treatment received by Taiwan's 23 million people and to China's suppression of Taiwan, the ministry said.

    It urged European countries to trust the government and people of Taiwan and have confidence in their wisdom and ability to resolve cross-strait differences peacefully.

    The ministry called on the EU to pay attention to China's continued military buildup and its deployment of more than 1,000 missiles targeting Taiwan. "All these have threatened the continued process of deepening Taiwan's democracy and created unease and tensions across the strait and in the region," it said.

    In a statement issued March 6, the European Union said while it recognizes the general value of referendums as democratic instruments, it is concerned by Taiwan's decision to go ahead with the referendum. "The proposed referendum would risk increasing cross-strait tension, to the potential detriment of all concerned, including the people of Taiwan," the European Union said.

    Besides the European Union, the United States has also on many occasions expressed its opposition to the referendum by calling it "needlessly provocative."

(By Y.F. Low) ENDITEM/ls



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