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Taiwan will not seek U.N. membership this year: source

ROC Central News Agency

2018/08/27 12:34:26

Taipei, Aug. 27 (CNA) Taiwan will not seek membership in the United Nations this year but will continue to ask its diplomatic allies and friendly countries to speak up at the general assembly in support of its meaningful participation, a diplomatic source said Monday.

Since 2009, the Taiwan government has not made a bid for U.N. membership and will stick to that approach for the time being, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity since the person was not authorized to comment publicly on the issue.

"Pitching for Taiwan's membership in the U.N. is a double-edged sword," the source said. "After considering the overall situation both locally and globally, we decided that we will again take a moderate and rational approach rather than a more aggressive one."

While an aggressive approach may gain attention on the world stage, such attention might not be "entirely positive," the source said.

The 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly will open Sept. 18 at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, with the annual general debate scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.

As in previous years, Taiwan will submit several requests to the U.N., calling for inclusion, in keeping with the principle of true universality, the source said. The requests will include ending the measures that prevent Taiwanese from entering U.N. meetings, permitting Taiwanese media to cover the U.N. General Assembly, and allowing Taiwan's dignified participation in U.N. related meetings and activities.

Asked to comment on the U.N. issue, foreign ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) told CNA that the ministry is still in talks with the relevant government agencies to come up with a practical approach on the matter.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) lost its U.N. membership in 1971 with the passage of a resolution stating that the People's Republic of China was the only legitimate representative of China to the international body.

The Taiwan government then launched an unsuccessful annual campaign starting in 1993 to reclaim the U.N. seat.

In 2007, during the administration of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the government sought U.N. membership under the name Taiwan, but that campaign got nowhere.

Under the Kuomintang (KMT) administration from 2008 to 2016, the government did not apply to re-enter the U.N. under the Republic of China name or apply for new U.N. membership as Taiwan, deciding instead to pursue meaningful participation in U.N.-affiliated organizations.

Since coming to power in May 2016, the DPP administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has adopted an approach similar to that of the previous KMT government, including asking Taiwan's diplomatic allies to speak at the U.N. General Assembly in support of Taiwan's "meaningful participation."

(By Joseph Yeh)

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