Australia condemns Taiwan UN vote

Foreign minister says planned referendum could undermine regional stability.

    Smith, right, told Yang that the proposed referendum could cause "disharmony" in thre region [EPA]

    "We are very concerned to ensure that action is not taken in Taiwan or in the Taiwanese Strait which would cause concern or potential for disharmony in the Strait itself," Smith said.

     

    "It does not lead to stability nor harmony in North Asia"

    Stephen Smith, Australian foreign minister

    "It does not lead to stability nor harmony in North Asia and we would be much better off if that referendum had not been proposed."

     

    Australia does not support Taiwanese independence, and a Labor government in 1972 granted diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

     

    Last week Taiwan announced plans for a nationwide vote on March 22 on whether to seek UN membership under the name "Taiwan", an act seen by China as a significant step toward formal independence.

     

    The trip to Australia is Yang's first as foreign minister, and also the first by a high-ranking Chinese official since the Labor Party took over the government last November.

     

    The US also opposes Taiwan's referendum move, saying that conducting a referendum would be a mistake and intentionally provocative.

     

    In 1971, Taiwan lost its UN seat to China under its official name the Republic of China.

     

    Beijing has repeatedly blocked subsequent efforts by Taiwan to rejoin the world body using the same name.

     

    It has threatened to use force to retake Taiwan if the island makes moves towards declaring formal independence.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.