Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Friday, March 28, 2008

To bid or not to bid?

This article, Public still support the nation's UN bid: survey, in today's Taipei Times is a good follow up to my previous post about the failed UN referendums in Taiwan.

It states that "Seventy-one percent of people responding to a Taiwan Thinktank survey said the incoming Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration should continue the policy of promoting the nation's bid to joing the UN despite the failure of two Referendums on the issue last week."

For your convenience I've posted the complete article here:

Public still support the nation's UN bid: survey

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA
Friday, Mar 28, 2008, Page 3

Seventy-one percent of people responding to a Taiwan Thinktank survey said the incoming Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration should continue the policy of promoting the nation's bid to join the UN despite the failure of two referendums on the issue last week.

The results of the survey released yesterday revealed that 67 percent of respondents were in favor of the nation seeking UN membership, and 57 percent supported Taiwan's inclusion in the world body regardless of what name was used to apply for membership.

Meanwhile, 23 percent of respondents said the Japanese are the friendliest people toward Taiwan, while 31 percent said the US is the friendliest government.

Fifty-one percent of respondents identified China as the country least friendly, with 70 percent saying China should be condemned for its recent crackdown on protesters in Tibet.

The survey was carried out between Monday and Wednesday this week on 1,078 people. It had a margin of error of 3 percent.

Seventy-five percent of the respondents voted in last Saturday's presidential poll, 34 percent of whom cast ballots in the two referendums, with 35 percent refraining from voting in either referendum.

One of the referendums advocated joining the UN using the name Taiwan, while the other advocated rejoining the UN using the nation's official title the "Republic of China," or any other "practical" name. Both were rejected because the turnout rates did not reach the required 50 percent, although approximately 90 percent of those who voted did so in favor of the initiatives.

Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), deputy chief of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Research and Planning Committee, said that although the referendums' failure had helped to reassure countries such as the US which had expressed concerns over their possible negative impact on cross-strait relations, it had also strengthened the barriers to the nation's participation in major international organizations.

"Everything is back to square one. Major countries will only support Taiwan's membership in international organizations that do not require statehood," Liu said.

Lin Wen-cheng (林文程), a professor at National Sun Yat-sen University's Institute of Mainland China Studies, agreed with Liu, saying that the failure of the referendums would inevitably impact on the nation's bid for UN membership.

While the failure of the two votes has drawn the public's attention to the need for an amendment to the Referendum Act to lower the required turnout threshold, it remains doubtful whether such an amendment would clear the legislature, Lin said.

The KMT, which holds a strong majority in the legislature, is opposed to lowering the minimum requirements for the passage of a referendum.

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