Taiwan will not seek UN membership this year: Foreign Ministry
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Last Updated: Friday, September 04, 2009, 18:30
Taipei: Taiwan will not attempt to seek United Nations membership this year, officials said on Friday, in a move one observer said was aimed at patching up ties with Beijing after the Dalai Lama's visit.

"Instead of asking our allies to submit a proposal to join the United Nations, we will seek other kinds of meaningful participation," said a foreign ministry official.

"It is a change of method but we will not give up the Taiwan people's right to join the UN."

The official was speaking as Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama wrapped up a five-day visit to the island which triggered protests and cancellations of activities by Beijing.

"I think the government is making a concession in a bid to restore mutual trust with Beijing after the Dalai Lama's trip," said Hsu Yung-ming, a political scientist at Taipei's Soochow University.

Last year, Taipei made an attempt to join the World Meteorological Organisation and other specialised UN agencies rather than seeking full UN membership.

The bid, which failed, signalled a strategic adjustment following the coming to power last year of Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou.

Taiwan lost its UN seat to China in 1971 and Beijing has thwarted all the island's previous bids to return to the world body as a full member.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, September 04, 2009, 18:30

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