US opposes Taiwanese referendum on joining UN

March 20th, 2008 - 3:39 am ICT by admin  

Washington, March 20 (DPA) The US has opposed Taiwan’s plan to hold a referendum on joining the UN alongside Saturday’s presidential election. “The United States is opposed to this specific referendum,” State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Wednesday.

“We believe it is unnecessary and unhelpful and will not have an effect on Taiwan’s ability to join the UN or other organizations requiring statehood and has the potential to raise tensions in the Taiwan Straits,” he added.

China regards Taiwan as a rogue province and has threatened to respond with military force if the island declares independence. Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, who has championed the referendum, has argued it is not a move toward independence.

The US has urged Taiwan and China to avoid steps that would change the status quo in cross-strait relations and to resolve their differences through dialogue.

Taiwan’s presidential election pits Ma Ying-jeou, candidate of the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party, or KMT, against Frank Hsieh, who’s representing the Democratic Progressive Party (DDP).

Both candidates have advocated a more moderate tone in relations with China than has been the case under Chen.

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