[JURIST] The United Nations Office of Legal Affairs rejected Taiwan's fifteenth bid for member state status Monday, 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 characterized Taiwan's latest effort to join the UN as a "separatist act of the 'Taiwan Independence' secessionist forces," [press release] and pointed to the UN Charter's requirement that only sovereign states can apply for UN member status [Article 4 text]. 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.
Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs James C.F. Huang criticized the UN decision as procedurally flawed [press release, in Chinese], saying that the UN General Assembly was not given an opportunity to decide the application and asserting that Resolution 2758 did not prohibit member state status for Taiwan. The latest application was the first attempt by the Taiwanese government to apply under the name of Taiwan. The Taiwanese presidency said last month that it planned to proceed with a national referendum [JURIST report] on whether Taiwan should attempt to rejoin the UN. A spokesman said Tuesday that efforts to hold the referendum would go ahead as planned. AP has more.