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UN referendum will not alter status quo: Chen

UN referendum will not alter status quo: Chen

President Chen Shui-bian reiterated Wednesday night Taiwan's planned referendum on its UN membership bid will not upset the status quo across the Taiwan Strait as the United States has warned.
Chen made the remarks upon his arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport late Wednesday after concluding a nine-day trip to Central America, which included transit stops in the US state of Alaska.
According to Chen, the referendum issue was raised during his meeting with US officials in the transit stops and he told them that Taiwan is already a sovereign country and has no need to declare independence.
Chen referred to Taiwan and China as“one country on each side of the Taiwan Strait" and insisted that the planned UN referendum will not tinker with the status quo. Rather, the referendum will help safeguard the status quo and prevent China from seeking to change it unilaterally, he said.
Calling referendum a basic human right and a way of deepening Taiwan's democracy, Chen said the liberty of Taiwan's 23 million people must not be restricted or denied simply because China is opposed to the idea.
The country's efforts to gain membership in international organizations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization under the name Taiwan are aimed at upholding the rights of the people and have nothing to do with the campaign to rename the country, Chen emphasized.
The US government, which has said it does not support membership for Taiwan in international organizations that require statehood, has expressed objection to the UN referendum on the grounds that it would heighten tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said during an interview with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Star TV Monday that the United States is opposed to the referendum because Washington sees it as a step "towards a declaration of independence and alteration of the status quo."


Updated : 2021-06-18 23:18 GMT+08:00