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Russia denounces Taiwan referendum
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Russia slammed the Taiwanese leadership for its initiative to hold a referendum on March 22 on a proposal for Taiwan to join the United Nations, the Foreign Ministry said on its official website on Wednesday. 

"It is our deep conviction that this political gamble, which is being persistently hyped by the authorities of the island, carries a tremendous destructive potential. It is capable of exercising, and is already exercising, a large-scale destabilizing effect on the political climate in the Asia-Pacific Region and threatens the interests of peace and development," First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov said, answering a question from the media.

"Carried away by its separatist rhetoric, the Taiwanese leadership overlooks the fact that Taiwan's joining the UN is a nonexistent issue. An absolute majority of states in the world, including the Russian Federation, recognize Taiwan as an inseparable part of China and the government of the People's Republic of China as the only lawful government representing the whole of China," Denisov said.

Russia's position on the Taiwan issue "is well known", he said.

"We oppose the independence of Taiwan in any form; we consider the solution of the Taiwan problem to be an internal matter of China; we understand efforts by the Chinese side to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country; and we hold the principle that dialogue and an atmosphere of confidence are priority methods for overcoming differences between the two sides," the deputy minister said.

"Russia as an Asian-Pacific state pays serious attention to the preservation of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2008)

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