Accessibility links

Breaking News

Taiwan Renews UN Membership Bid

Taiwan's president has renewed the island's bid to join the United Nations, sending two more letters to leaders of the world body.

A spokesman for President Chen Shui-bian, David Lee, says letters were delivered Wednesday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and to China's U.N. representative.

The Xinhua news agency reports that China's U.N. Ambassador, Wang Guangya, quickly rejected and returned his letter. Wang called Mr. Chen an "international troublemaker," and said the application was a "petty trick."

Wang said he expects Ban Ki-moon's office to soon take the same action.

Last week, the secretary-general's office rejected Taiwan's application for membership before it was discussed by the General Assembly. The office said that a 1971 U.N. resolution 2758 bars Taipei from having separate membership in the world body.

Mr. Chen responded by saying that no individual, including the secretary-general, has the right to rule on Taiwan's application. He vowed to continue to promote the island's bid and demand that it be discussed by the General Assembly and U.N. Security Council.

Taiwan, officially known as the "Republic of China," lost its U.N. seat to China in 1971.

Every bid that Taiwan has made to join the U.N., starting in 1993, has been rejected. This is the first year it has applied under the name Taiwan instead of the ROC.

China claims the self-governed island is part of its own territory and that it is unnecessary for it to join the world body.