19 Nov 2008

[Taipei Times] Alternative referendum necessary

By Cho Hui-wan 卓慧菀

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008, Page 8

The US is reportedly continuing to put strong pressure on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and even both parties' presidential candidates in the hope of stopping both the DPP's referendum on applying for UN membership as a new member under the name "Taiwan," and the KMT's referendum on returning to the UN under any practical name.

The two referendums have already harmed cross-strait relations and lead to a new low point in US-Taiwan relations. It is time for the DPP and KMT to reconsider. The two parties should negotiate and then let the legislature come up with a new referendum proposal to replace the proposals now before us.

The new proposal could ask: "Based on every person's human right to participate in international cooperation through their government, and the UN's principle of universality established on this right, do you agree that the UN should not exclude Taiwan?"

The main difference between this proposal and the two proposed referendums is the actor. In the DPP and KMT versions, the actor is Taiwan; in the new proposal, it's the UN. Through such wording, the Taiwanese could clearly tell the international community that the UN should not exclude Taiwan.

Some might ask what the logic is in holding a referendum about the actions of the UN? But if Taiwan wants to be a member of the world body, it not only needs to apply for membership, the UN also has to agree to let Taiwan in. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has said that even if a referendum on UN membership passes, it does not mean that Taiwan will be granted membership. (Full Text)

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