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President Chen Addresses a Seminar on Taiwan's U.N. Bid

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian said Saturday that the Republic of China's bid to join the United Nations is not a "humble plea," but rather a dignified protest against the U.N.'s discrimination against the 23 million people of Taiwan. 

In a speech delivered at a seminar on Taiwan's U.N. bid, Chen said the U.N.'s submission to the repressive Beijing regime's blackmail to deny democratic Taiwan's membership application has seriously violated the organization's own founding purposes and ultimate goals. 

Noting that several U.N. members, such as Liechtenstein, Andorra, Kiribati and Seychelles, have populations similar to that of the ROC's National Taiwan University (NTU) and that their annual national budgets are even less than that of NTU, Chen asked: "What legitimate reasons does the U.N. have to reject the ROC's entry?" 

With its outstanding economic achievements and smooth democratization, Chen said, the ROC is better qualified for a U.N. seat than many current members. 

Chen said the ROC ranks 21st in terms of population, 20th in terms of national gross product, 25th in terms of per capita national income, 14th in terms of its annual two-way trade and third or fourth in terms of its information-technology industry production. "Therefore, we think it's our undeniable basic right to take part in the U.N.," Chen stressed, adding that since the U.N. is dedicated to promoting world peace, social progress and better standards of life under freedom, it should not have yielded to the pressure of a repressive country like communist China to shut out Taiwan. "By launching its U.N. bid, the ROC is not making a humble plea to the international community. It is instead lodging a painful protest against the U.N.'s discrimination, in its capacity as a sovereign, democratic country," Chen explained. 

He further said the ROC has consistently promoted its U.N. bid with dignity and confidence to underscore the common aspiration of Taiwan's 23 million people for international justice. 

Chen reaffirmed his administration's determination to continue pushing for Taiwan's U.N. bid. He also said that even if the U.N. denies the ROC's legitimate right to join the body, the ROC will continue to fulfill its obligations as a member of international society to promote world progress in various fields. 

The ROC, a U.N. founding member, has been shut out of the world body since 1971, when the U.N. gave the China seat to mainland China. 

With the assistance of its diplomatic allies, the ROC began to ask the U.N. six years ago to review the exceptional situation faced by Taiwan and to work out measures to let Taiwan's voice heard in the world body. The ROC's bid, however, has been consistently shot down by Beijing and has failed to make the agenda of the annual U.N. General Assembly for the past six years. 

Chen said the ROC will not be daunted by these defeats and will continue its pursuit of a U.N. seat with courage and perseverance. 

Emphasizing that diplomatic work needs concerted efforts of the private and public sectors, Chen said he is hopeful that all domestic political parties and groups will pool their wisdom and resources to push for the ROC's U.N. bid and break the Beijing-imposed diplomatic embargo against Taiwan. 

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