U.N. secretary-general stops calling 'Taiwan part of China'
2007-09-06 11:57:39

    Washington, Sept. 5 (CNA) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stopped calling Taiwan "part of the People's Republic of China" since the United States recently corrected his statement, diplomatic sources in Washington, D.C. said Wednesday.

    Concerned about Ban's misinterpretation of U.N. Resolution 2758, which recognizes the PRC as the sole representative of China in the world body, the U.S. State Department recently wrote a letter to Ban saying that it considers his statement to be a "mistake," the sources said.

    As a result, Ban did not repeat the statement when he returned last month President Chen Shui-bian's second letter in which he was urged to deal with Taiwan's U.N. membership application according to due procedures, the sources said.

    Meanwhile, China, which had reportedly planned to press the United Nations to confirm Beijing's claim that "Taiwan is part of the People's Republic of China" during the upcoming regular session of the U.N. General Assembly, dropped the idea after the United States clarified its stance on the issue, the sources said.

    President Chen first sent a membership application letter to Ban July 19, but the letter was returned July 23 based on Resolution 2758, which U.N. officials said is the basis of the "one China" policy of the United Nations.

    Asked about the issue during his trip to San Francisco July 27, Ban said that membership is only granted to "sovereign countries" and that "the position of the United Nations is that Taiwan is part of China."

    Chen sent a second letter to Ban July 31 urging him to reconsider his decision. The letter was also returned, without any statement by the U.N. secretary-general.

    Openly clarifying the U.S. position on the issue, Dennis Wilder, senior director for Asian affairs of the White House National Security Council, said last week that "Taiwan, or the Republic of China, is not at this point a state in the international community" and that the position of the U.S. government is that the status of the ROC "is an issue undecided."

    According to the Washington-based Nelson Report, Wilder's remarks reflect the longstanding policy of the United States, but American officials usually do not make such public statements on the issue.

(By Chiehyu Lin and Y.F. Low)


Source: http://www.cna.com.tw/eng/topread.php?id=200709060011

Sept. 6, 2007