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Friday, 4 August, 2000, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Taiwan asks for UN membership again

The government of Taiwan has again applied to join the United Nations.

It's the eighth annual renewal of Taipei's annual application to the world body, which China has angrily blocked each year.

The application has been made despite recent attempts at reconciliation with China by the new Taiwanese president, Chen Shui-bien. The application is made through UN members which do recognise Taipei -- they include some of the world's poorest and smallest countries. China regards Taiwan as a renegade province, and says the latest application is a violation of the UN's purpose and an interference in China's internal affairs.

Taiwan is arguing that its admission would force China to recognise it and negotiate a reconciliation. Taiwan has been excluded from the UN since 1971, when the Communist government in Beijing was recognised as the legitimate Chinese authority.

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