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MOFA sees goodwill from China despite opposition to U.N. bid

 Protesters wear masks of Chinese leader Hu Jintao, left, and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-Jeou during a press conference against the 2008 Beijing Olymp...

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Protesters wear masks of Chinese leader Hu Jintao, left, and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-Jeou during a press conference against the 2008 Beijing Olymp...

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Wednesday that it sees some goodwill from China in a letter from Beijing to the U.N. secretary-general regarding Taiwan's latest proposal for participation in the world body, despite the fact that Beijing's basic stance of opposing Taiwan's bid remains unchanged.
"We are not too surprised by China's opposition, as its basic stance is the same as before," MOFA spokesman Henry Chen told CNA.
"But some goodwill can be seen, given the fact that China has said things it has not mentioned before," he said.
The U.N. posted Taiwan's proposal to participate in the world body along with a letter written by Wang Guangya, U.N. permanent representative of the People's Republic of China, on the Web site of the U.N. Journal, to be circulated among member states.
In the letter dated Aug. 18, Wang noted that relations between Taiwan and China have shown "a good momentum of improvement and development" since March, thanks to the concerted efforts of both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and that both sides should continue to work on further peaceful development.
"Under the new circumstances, we will firmly adhere to the theme of peaceful development in cross-strait relations, and will continue to enhance our exchanges and cooperation in all areas," Wang said.
Admitting that there are still some outstanding questions left over from history and that some of them are "hard nuts to crack for the time being, " Wang contended that both Taipei and Beijing "will make joint efforts under the one China principle toward the establishment of a framework for peaceful development of cross-strait relations and strive for new prospects in the relationship."
"We are fully confident that so long as the two sides work together in a spirit of `building mutual trust, putting aside differences, seeking common ground and striving for a win-win result, ' we will surely be able to create conditions and find an appropriate solution through consultation," he said.
However, Wang told the U.N. that by raising the so-called proposal on "Taiwan's participation in the activities of U.N. specialized agencies," Nauru, the Gambia and a few other countries that submitted the proposal on Taiwan's behalf, intend to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," which is firmly opposed by the Chinese government and people because the U.N. and its specialized agencies are intergovernmental organizations composed only of sovereign states and as a part of China, Taiwan is not a sovereign state.
He stated that as "an internal affair of the Chinese people," the participation of Taiwan in international activities should be resolved through consultation "by the Chinese people across the Taiwan Strait."
In response to Wang's letter, the MOFA released a statement reiterating that the basic rights of the people of the Republic of China to participate in international organizations and activities should be respected.
"The ministry thinks Taiwan's participation in the international community will have positive effects on the consolidation of the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, " the press release said.
The Foreign Ministry disagreed with Wang, who claimed in his letter that Taiwan has "unfettered access" to the health and medical information of the World Health Organization (WHO) , as Beijing has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the WHO Secretariat.
"Under the terms of the MOU, Taiwan still cannot fully participate in WHO conferences and activities, nor can it have direct contact and interaction with the WHO, which leaves a gap between the reality and our expectations," the statement said.
Taiwan renewed its bid to enter the U.N. Aug. 14 by submitting a proposal to the U.N. Secretariat through its allies calling for the world body to reconsider at the Sept. 16 U.N. General Assembly the feasibility of Taiwan's meaningful participation in U.N. specialized agencies.
In an interview with CNA Tuesday, Foreign Minister Francisco H.L. Ou said that the more moderate and pragmatic approach has received a very good response from the international community and that he believes the bid will win more support during the U.N. General Assembly.
A senior Western diplomat in Taipei told CNA recently that he found Taiwan's U.N. proposal to be "well thought-out" and "cleverly worded, " fully reflecting the expectations of the international community and Taiwan's domestic situation.
Since 1993, Taiwan's allies have been trying to put the issue of Taiwan's participation on the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly on Taiwan's behalf, but Beijing's argument that Taiwan is part of China has always prevailed.

Updated : 2021-10-17 06:02 GMT+08:00