09/17/2007, 00.00
CHINA – TAIWAN
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Beijing warns Taipei against further protests, denies Taiwan’s right to national sovereignty

Following mass rallies last week in favour of referendums and a UN seat, mainland China threatens retaliation warning that Taiwan will never be a sovereign state.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China will not accept any move towards Taiwanese independence since it is part of China and will never be sovereign, said a spokesperson for the mainland’s Taiwan Affairs Office in commenting the demonstrations that took place on the island on Saturday organised by Chen Shui-bian’s governing Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition Kuomintang Party

The first rally which took place in Kaoshiung drawing an estimated crowd of 300,000 demanded Taiwan get a UN seat under its name. The second one in Taichung gathered about 50,000 supporters to promote the opposition plan to hold a referendum on Taiwan returning to the UN under any name.

Both parties are vying for voters’ support ahead of next year’s presidential elections.

Since 1993 Taiwan’s allies have tried to open a debate on its UN membership but it has failed to either get enough votes in the General Assembly or is blocked before it gets to the Security Council where mainland China has a veto.

Since the adoption of UN Resolution 2758 in 1971, the People’s Republic has been China’s sole representative in the world body.

However, since the end of the Civil War in 1949 and Chiang Kai-shek’s flight to the island, Taiwan has exercised de facto independence, evolving into a parliamentary democracy with free elections and the world’s 18th largest economy.

For many observers, President Chen’s independence push is designed to save him from falling from power. But the Kuomintang’s own pro-UN seat rally has surprised many since it was always thought that the Nationalists were de facto supporters of the mainland’s one China policy.

Chen’s demand for a UN seat has not gone down well with the United States which is committed to come to Taiwan’s defence in case of an invasion from the Chinese mainland. For Washington, street protests are “useless and counterproductive”.

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Trial of former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian opens
26/03/2009
Beijing warns Taipei that independence would come at a heavy price
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Opposition trying to oust Chen Shui-bian again
07/11/2006
Ma Ying-jeou takes office, mainland and economy to top his agenda
20/05/2008
Opposition in Taipei to submit recall motion to oust president
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