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Taiwan's Bid to Regain UN Seat Fails

Taiwan has failed for the 10th consecutive year to regain a seat in the United Nations. The news was warmly welcomed by China, which vigorously opposes U.N. Membership for Taiwan.

During the past decade, China has blocked Taiwan's annual efforts to gain membership in the United Nations. Beijing fears such a move would allow the island to edge closer to independence from the mainland

The U.N. General Assembly Committee on Wednesday again refused to include the question of Taiwan's membership on this session's agenda, killing the island's chances of joining this year.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan reaffirms the government's position that Taiwan and the mainland are part of one China that can never be divided.

Back in 1945, China helped found the United Nations. A few years later, the Nationalist forces governing China lost a civil war to the Communist Party, and fled to Taiwan. The Nationalists based in Taipei managed to hold onto China's U.N. seat until 1971, when the General Assembly voted to expel Taiwan and recognize Beijing as China's sole ruler.

China considers Taiwan a part of its territory that must eventually be reunited with the mainland. It has worked hard to isolate Taipei diplomatically, by barring it from membership in many international bodies and insisting that countries with diplomatic relations with China cut formal ties with Taipei.

Several-weeks ago, Taiwan's president angered Beijing by referring to Taiwan and China as separate countries and saying the people of Taiwan should be allowed to vote on its political status.