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US lawmakers propose resolution to support UN membership for Taiwan

[JURIST] Nineteen lawmakers in the US House of Representatives [official website] have introduced a resolution [HR 250 materials] to support Taiwan's bid for UN membership. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) [official website] introduced the bill at a Thursday meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Committee [official website], despite opposition by the Bush administration to a recent push by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-Ban [official profile; BBC profile] for a Taiwanese national referendum on UN membership [JURIST report]. No date has been set for debate on the legislation.

The resolution was introduced despite the fact that the UN General Assembly rejected Taiwan's latest effort to gain a seat in the UN in September. Taiwan, which officially refers to itself as the Republic of China, was kicked out of the UN in 1971 by General Assembly Resolution 2758 [PDF text] and replaced by the People's Republic of China as the representative of China. This is the 15th straight year that Taiwan's application for UN membership has been rejected. AFP has more.

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