Taiwan to hold referendum on UN bid despite rejection
Jul 12, 2007, 10:59 GMT
Taipei – A Taiwan Cabinet agency on Thursday overruled a decision by the Referendum Review Committee to reject a motion to hold a referendum on the island’s quixotic quest to apply to join the United Nations in the name of Taiwan.
The dramatic twist was certain to annoy the United States, which has openly expressed opposition to the island’s plan to push for such a referendum.
The Referendum Review Committee late last month rejected the motion brought by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the grounds that it is a consensus and a policy in Taiwan to join the United Nations and there is no need to hold a referendum.
But the administrative arbitration committee, which is under Taiwan’s Cabinet, overruled the rejection on the grounds that the review committee has no right to kill the motion which is in national interest.
‘The arbitration committee resolved to overrule the rejection because it violates the referendum law for the review committee to make any conviction over referendums that are in the interests of the nation and the general public,’ Cabinet spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey told reporters after the arbitration committee meeting Thursday.
The arbitration also ruled that relevant authorities should give the green light for the planned referendum if the DPP is able to gather 820,000 signatures from eligible voters in Taiwan to put the plan in practice.
Review committee chairman Ke Yung-kuang, however, disputed the decision, saying it violated the constitution for the arbitration committee, which has no legal power, to overrule the rejection.
The DPP welcomed the latest decision, saying it was a correct move as Taiwanese people want a place in the United Nations.
But the opposition, which is against the referendum pushed by President Chen Shui-bian, lashed out at the Cabinet for making such a decision, saying it would only upset both Washington and Beijing.
Chen has ignored pressure from Washington by saying in a recent interview with the Washington Post that the United States has no right to oppose a democratic practice by Taiwan.
The US, an informal ally and biggest arms’ supplier for Taiwan, has opposed the island’s use of the title ‘Taiwan’ to apply to join the United Nations under the concern that it would escalate cross-strait tension.
Beijing, a rival of Taiwan since the two sides split at the end of a civil war in 1949, has strongly opposed the island’s holding any referendum involving the island’s sovereignty. It has seen Taiwan as an integral part of China that must be brought back to its fold, if necessary by force.
© 2007 dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur
It’s Taiwan Province against the world. Having another bullshit referendum during an election year to rally votes at the expense of angering their American overlords is quite idiotic, as Frank Hsieh will have to face America’s wrath after taking power. It also doesn’t help that Taiwan Province will get rejected again regardless of the natural outcome of this Chen Dabian-sponsored referendum or whatever crap he does to offend the region and his American overlords by next year.
The worst the Americans can do is encourage Taiwan’s nominal allies to switch recognition over to China or simply cancel any sales of outdated arms to them. Then again, the only reason those 24 nations hang around Taiwan is because they are able to extract substantial aid money with just nominal recognition that Taiwan is China. It’s not a bad deal after all getting money by pretending Taiwan is China for the sake of make believe. Taiwan Province is indeed a joke.