U.S. opposed to Taiwan referendum on UN membership

2008-03-20 09:17:34 Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The United States is opposed to Taiwan authorities' attempt to hold a referendum on joining the United Nations, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Wednesday.

There's no change from what U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on this issue in December and February, Casey said.

The deputy spokesman said "the United States is opposed to this specific referendum. We believe it is unnecessary and unhelpful...and has the potential to raise tensions in the Taiwan Straits."

Casey added that Washington wants to see dialogue across the Taiwan Straits.

On Dec. 21, 2007, Rice told a press conference in the State Department that the United States opposes Taiwan's proposed referendum to apply to the United Nations under the name of Taiwan.

During her visit to China, the U.S. top diplomat reiterated on Feb. 26that her country opposes the proposed "referendum on Taiwan's UN membership."