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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
UN rejects membership for Taiwan
By Laura Trevelyan
BBC News, UN, New York

President Chen Shui-bian at march to support Taiwan joining UN - 15/09/2007
UN membership is a popular issue in Taiwan
The United Nations has once again blocked Taiwan's quest for membership of the world body, despite a huge high-profile campaign by the island.

A key UN committee has rejected a proposal from Taiwan's allies to put its bid on the agenda of the general assembly, meeting now in New York.

China, which claims Taiwan as a province, is adamantly opposed to UN membership for the island.

Taiwan and mainland China split in 1949 amid civil war.

Referendum planned

This is the 15th consecutive year that Taiwan's quest for membership of the United Nations has been rejected.

After the split in 1949, Taiwan became the stronghold of the nationalists and the mainland became the communist People's Republic of China.

Ruled by separate governments since end of Chinese civil war in 1949
China considers the island part of its territory
China has offered a "one country, two systems" solution, like Hong Kong
Most people in Taiwan support status quo

However, until 1971, the Chinese seat at the UN was held by Taiwan under its formal title, the Republic of China.

But then the United Nations expelled Taiwan and gave the seat to the Beijing government.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, was asked why the UN could not consider Taiwan's membership.

He said it was legally impossible because of that 1971 general assembly resolution that expelled the representatives of nationalist China.

Taiwan, though, has no intention of giving up its bid for membership. The government is planning a referendum on the issue for March.

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03 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific


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