04/24/2007, 00.00
TAIWAN
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Taiwanese president attacks Beijing for trying to make the island ‘invisible’

Speaking to foreign-based Taiwanese business people, President Chen said that Taiwan’s economic power should entitle it to international recognition under its name and not fake titles imposed under Beijing’s pressures.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Taiwan's economic power gives it the right to join international organisations under its own name rather than using the artificial titles imposed upon it by the mainland, Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian said yesterday.

Speaking to foreign-based Taiwanese business people, Mr Chen said he could no longer accept Beijing's efforts to make Taiwan "invisible" and pledged to work to gain admission to the United Nations under Taiwan's own name.

"We should no longer hide behind weird names and terms," he said. "Taiwanese have the right to name the country as Taiwan, a right that should not be negated or restricted."

His comments came two weeks after sending a letter to the World Health Organisation urging that the self-ruled island be accepted into the group under the name Taiwan, rather than the title "health entity" it had hitherto used.

Efforts by Taiwan’s government under the ruling Democratic Progressive Party have not been limited to the health field. President Chen has in fact championed the development of a Taiwanese national identity, promoting the recognition of the island nation as a member of the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation.

His efforts so far have not paid off. Beijing’s pressures have been successful in preventing the international community, which accepts the status quo, from granting the island any recognition.

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