China Opposes to Taiwan Observer Status in OAS

The Chinese government is firmly opposed to Taiwan's involvement in the Organization of American States (OAS) in any form or in any name, a Chinese official said Sunday.

Under the related OAS regulations, only sovereign countries have the right to serve as OAS observers, Zeng Gang, China's Ambassador to Ecuador, said at a meeting between OAS members and its permanent observers during the 34th OAS General Assembly.

Taiwan, as a province of China, is not entitled to serving as an OAS observer, Zeng said.

The OAS already formally accepted China as its permanent observer on May 26.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in May that the OAS had agreed to place on the agenda of its next permanent council meeting the request of Taiwan for permanent observer status.

Zeng said that China hopes that all OAS members abide by related resolutions and chapters of the United Nations and the OAS, respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as feelings of the 1.3-billion Chinese people.

He called on OAS countries to keep in mind the interest of their individual countries and the long-term development of Sino-OAS relations, and deal with the Taiwan issue with caution.

Zeng praised the OAS for its role in safeguarding regional peace and stability, boosting social advancement, coordinating regional affairs and promoting regional integrity.

Both China and the OAS have the will to further develop bilateral relations and mutually-beneficial cooperation, Zeng said, noting that the OAS' accepting China as its permanent member offered a new platform for further developing Sino-OAS relations.

China's new role in the OAS will enable China to contribute more to peace, stability and prosperity in America and the world as a whole, Zeng said, adding that China will honor its commitments and work for the benefits of all OAS members.

Founded in 1948, the Washington-based OAS brings together 34 countries in the Americas. It is the primary vehicle for resolving political differences in the region.

The 34th General Assembly of the OAS, held from Sunday to Tuesday, was expected to discuss corruption, regional security and cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2004)