Summary: 25 October 2007, Brussels – Javier SOLANA, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), is concerned by Taiwan's leadership comments on Taiwan's application for UN membership and made today the following statement:
"I have noted with concern the comments made by Taiwan's leadership on 24 October concerning Taiwan's application for UN membership under the name of Taiwan.
The EU has a substantial interest in peace and stability in East Asia. It has a particular interest in the continued prosperity and security of Taiwan and in the maintenance of peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait. The fundamental position of the EU is that the Taiwan question must be solved peacefully through cross-Strait negotiations between all concerned parties.
The EU supports and shares Taiwan’s democratic values. But we have concerns about the current policy of Taiwan’s authorities to pursue a referendum on the question of UN membership in the name of Taiwan. This concern flows from the EU’s conviction that both sides of the Strait should refrain from statements or actions which might raise tension across the Strait and which might be perceived as a unilateral change in the status quo. The proposed referendum risks making it harder for Taiwan to enjoy the pragmatic participation - which we support - in the activities of specialized multilateral fora, when there are clear public interests for this and when statehood is not required. I therefore want to encourage both sides to take further initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue, practical cooperation and confidence-building."