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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 00:15 GMT 01:15 UK
Taiwan in fresh UN membership bid
By Laura Trevelyan
BBC News, New York

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian (centre) with a previous UN application - 20/07/07
China has threatened to attack Taiwan if it declares independence
Taiwan will make yet another attempt to become a member of the United Nations on Wednesday.

A key UN committee will decide whether to even allow a debate on Taiwan's application to take place.

But the request is likely to be defeated, just as the island's 14 previous attempts have been.

Taiwan has long sought recognition as a UN member in its own right but China, which still claims Taiwan as a province, is fiercely opposed to this.

The dispute goes back to 1949 when Taiwan and China split amid civil war.


Taiwan became the stronghold of the nationalists, while the mainland became the Communist People's Republic of China.

However, Taiwan held China's seat at the UN until 1971 when it was transferred to the Beijing-based government.

Earlier this year, Taiwan's application to join the UN was rejected yet again on legal grounds because of that 1971 UN resolution giving Taiwan's seat to the People's Republic of China.

On Wednesday, a key UN committee will once again consider whether to allow discussion of Taiwan's membership.

But UN officials predict this move will be defeated.

About 250,000 people demonstrated in Taiwan on Saturday in support of the UN membership bid. China has threatened to attack Taiwan if it declares independence.

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