Taiwan to hold UN referendum on March 22
Election authorities said the island will hold a referendum on joining the UN under the name 'Taiwan' on the same day as presidential polls.world Updated: Feb 02, 2008 09:50 IST
Taiwan's election authorities said on Friday the island would hold a referendum on joining the United Nations under the name "Taiwan" on March 22, the same day as presidential elections.
The referendum will ask whether voters "agree that the government should seek to join the UN in the name of Taiwan to express Taiwanese people's will and enhance Taiwan's international status and participation," the Central Election Commission said in a notice on its website.
The commission also gave the green light to a separate referendum proposed by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) on whether Taiwan should seek to "return to the UN with a pragmatic and flexible approach", also alongside the presidential vote.
In the KMT's version, Taiwan should attempt to join the UN and other international organisations either under its official title "the Republic of China" or "Taiwan", or any other suitable name.
The independence-leaning ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been pushing for the controversial referendum despite strong oppositions by Beijing and the island's key ally Washington.
"From the perspective of the United States, the conduct of such a referendum is a mistake," US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said last month.
"We think it is a provocative policy on the part of the Taiwanese authorities and we think that it certainly would have been preferable had not such a referendum been scheduled.