Aug 16, 2006

Taiwan: Vice President Lu Skeptical over U.N. Entry

Vice President Annette Lu said on Monday 14 August that the possibility of the nation applying to join the United Nations under the name of "Taiwan" this year is small
Vice President Annette Lu said on Monday that the possibility of the nation applying to join the United Nations under the name of "Taiwan" this year is small.

The vice president made the remarks when she attended a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the Democratic Pacific Union, an organization she helped found. President Chen Shui-bian and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng also attended the ceremony.

Asked about Chen's proposal Saturday that the nation should seriously consider joining the U.N. under the name of Taiwan, Lu said that "some friends" strongly recommended the proposal and that the Presidential Office convened meetings to study it.

"But as the General Assembly of the United Nations will soon open, the timing seems a bit late and the possibility is small this year, " she said, adding that "whether we should make such a proposal in the future remains to be seen."

Wang claimed that the name of the nation has been "the greatest contention" in the country, where the dispute over unification vs. independence is persistent.

Given the sensitivity of the issue, Wang suggested that "the nation act cautiously and take into consideration the views of other countries before making a move."

Lu also said that a Democratic Pacific Legislative Caucus will be established December 8, which will rely heavily on Wang's assistance. This, she went on, is the gist of a so-called "Lu-Wang alliance."

The reported alliance surfaced last week when a local newspaper said that should Lu succeed Chen -- who has been dogged by corruption allegations implicating himself, members of his family and his top aides -- Wang would be appointed premier, which reportedly is favored by former President Lee Teng-hui, who still has some clout in Taiwanese politics.

Lu said that the forming of the legislative caucus will need the cooperation of the Legislative Yuan and that Wang also thinks the matter is important.

"There is no need to speculate further," Lu said.

Wang said the second DPU conference will be held December 8, at which point the legislative caucus will be established.

Lu said more than 50 legislators from at least 20 countries will take part in the conference, hoping to increase understanding of the operations and elections of the Legislatures in various countries.