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Foreign countries oppose Taiwan referendum
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A number of foreign countries Thursday voiced opposition to Taiwan authorities' attempt to hold a referendum on joining the United Nations, reiterating their commitment to the one China policy.

The French government is "strongly" opposed to the proposed referendum, said Pacale Andreani, a spokeswoman of the French Foreign Ministry.

"France's position remains unchanged and clear over this issue... This initiative is useless and regrettable," she told a news conference, quoting French President Nicolas Sarkozy's remarks on the referendum.

"We are opposed to any unilateral initiative which could disturb the status quo. There is need to promote dialogue, cooperation and stability in the region," Andreani said.

She reiterated her country's one China policy, saying Taiwan is an "integral" part of China.

The Spanish government will adhere to the one China policy and is concerned about Taiwan authorities' scheduled referendum on UN membership in the name of Taiwan, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

Such unilateral acts are not conducive to regional stability, peace and development, said the ministry.

In a statement posted on its website, the Portuguese Foreign Ministry said Taiwan authorities' attempt to hold the referendum will ferment tension across the Taiwan Straits and endanger the interests of all parties concerned, including the people on the island.

The Portuguese government reaffirms its adherence to the one China policy and maintains that the Taiwan question should be resolved by peaceful means, said the statement.

The Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Argentine government shows "grave concern" over Taiwan authorities' insistence on the referendum.

Argentina reiterates its adherence to the one China policy, said the statement, adding that the referendum will exacerbate tension in the region and is not conducive to a peaceful solution to the Taiwan question.

The Kazakh government is opposed to "Taiwan independence" and any attempt at "Two Chinas", Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Nurlan B. Yermekbayev said in an interview with Chinese media.

Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2008)

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