Singapore says Taiwan’s UN referendum plan ‘provocative’

Singapore says Taiwan’s UN referendum plan ‘provocative’
Published: Friday June 22, 2007

Singapore criticised Friday Taiwan’s plan to go ahead with a referendum on joining the United Nations under its own name as “provocative and irresponsible”.

“Singapore opposes any unilateral move to alter the status of Taiwan,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The proposal to put Taiwan’s UN membership bid under the title ‘Taiwan’ to a referendum is provocative and irresponsible,” it said.

Taiwan, under its official name the Republic of China, lost its UN seat to mainland China in 1971. The two sides had split in 1949 after a civil war.

Its efforts to rejoin the world body have been repeatedly blocked by Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification.

Singapore said the move would raise tensions between Taiwan and China.

“It can only give false hope to the Taiwanese people, raise cross-straits tensions and reduce Taiwan’s international space,” the statement said.

“There is no realistic prospect of Taiwan joining the UN. The vast majority of UN members adhere to a ‘One China’ policy and will not support Taiwan’s membership of the UN under any appellation.”

On Monday, independence-leaning Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian told a visiting US delegation that he planned a referendum next year on the issue alongside the March 2008 presidential election.

A Taiwan foreign ministry spokesman told AFP on Wednesday that the island planned to go ahead with the referendum despite a warning from key ally Washington not to proceed.

Reality bites but Taiwan Province decides to go ahead and anger their American overlords, and neutral Singaporean allies by going ahead with a UN bid that will be dead on arrival. If Taiwan Province should listen to any ally it should be Singapore, who are still willing to work by their side, who still send their soldiers to train alongside the forces on Taiwan Province, and even played the neutral 3rd party in the 1992 talks between the two governments. However, Taiwan Province has not been so kind to Singapore by calling that real country a “a tiny nation no bigger than dried nasal mucus” which only hurt the province’s reputation in the world.

Regardless of any of these developments, Chen Shui-bian won’t help Taiwan’s survival and development.


2 thoughts on “Singapore says Taiwan’s UN referendum plan ‘provocative’

  1. You got all this backwards. Singapore is pro-China on the Taiwan question, not neutral. Taiwan is not a province of China. The 1992 talks were a failure and the 1992 consensus is a fiction, as the author of the term confessed last year. Chen is hamstrung by the weaknesses in the Presidency, which was never intended to be a real executive, but simply the exoskeleton of a one-party state. Finally, Chen does not “provoke” China. “Being provoked” is a policy choice that China makes, not a visceral reaction.

    Sure, Taiwan has no hope of getting into the UN. But Chen’s move is aimed at domestic politics. It won’t affect anything, and it won’t be a problem for China.


  2. Thanks for the clarification Micheal. It’s always a pleasure listening to your counterpoints. In any event, the UN Membership seems like a rather pathetic attempt to rally the “Green” voters for next year’s election.

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