[JURIST] Taiwanese Foreign Minister James Huang said Friday that a national referendum [JURIST report] on Taiwan's membership in the United Nations would proceed despite opposition from China. On Monday, the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs rejected Taiwan's fifteenth bid for member state status, reiterating the One-China Policy [Wikipedia backgrounder] and recognizing the People's Republic of China (PRC) [JURIST news archive] as the legitimate government of China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao has characterized Taiwan's latest effort to join the UN as a "separatist act of the 'Taiwan Independence' secessionist forces," [press release], pointing to the UN Charter's requirement that only sovereign states can apply for UN member status [Article 4 text]. The referendum is largely symbolic, and its backers must secure one million signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
Taiwan, which officially refers to itself as the Republic of China (ROC), was kicked out of the UN in 1971 by General Assembly Resolution 2758 [PDF text] and replaced by the PRC as the representative of China. AP has more.