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September 25, 2017

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KMT to back own referendum on return to U.N.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) decided yesterday to back the party's No. 6 national referendum on Taiwan's rejoining the United Nations, to be held alongside with the presidential election on March 22.

The party will also boycott the No. 5 referendum on Taiwan's admission to the U.N. under the name of Taiwan, as put forward by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

But the party said it fully respects voters who decide not to take part in either referendum.

Meanwhile, the KMT will continue pushing for the adoption of a resolution by the Legislative Yuan prodding the government to redouble efforts to make Taiwan a U.N. member again.

KMT Chairman Wu Po-hsiung formally announced the party's four major decisions on the U.N. issue after a meeting in the afternoon of its policy-making Central Standing Committee.

He said the decisions were made after President Chen Shui-bian and the Central Election Commission (CEC) rejected the KMT's request to separate the U.N. referendums from the upcoming presidential election.

The CEC was established with independent authority by the law to supervise and carry out impartial elections in Taiwan. But the agency has relegated itself as a tool of the DPP, Wu pointed out.

He said the KMT and its supporters will boycott the No. 5 referendum proposed by Chen and his DPP because it has been widely criticized by the international community as a provocative act and causing confrontation with China.

Even the United States, Taiwan's most vital supporter, has repeatedly blasted the DPP's referendum after Chen refused to revise or withdraw the plan, Wu said.

Other international leaders felt this referendum will bring unpredictable dangers in cross-strait affairs, because it was conceived as a move to change the official title of the Republic of China and change the status quo in the region, he explained.

Wu stressed the KMT has been opposed to the No. 5 referendum from the onset, on grounds that it was only used by Chen to manipulate the presidential election by bundling the two events together.

Other KMT officials branded the move as one of Chen's many "dirty tricks" and in an attempt to drum up support for the DPP in the election.

All voters in Taiwan should boycott such a referendum with ulterior motives that will severely harm the interests of the nation and its people, Wu said.

On the other hand, he said, the KMT initiated a separate referendum for the nation to "return to the U.N." to counteract the DPP plot and defuse all possible regional tensions.

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