The Opinion page article ``Taiwan Seeks a Place in UN,'' Sept. 16, indeed touched an issue that has been neglected for 22 years.
On Aug. 6, permanent representatives of seven Central American countries in the United Nations jointly signed a letter to the UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, requesting that the issue of Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) representation be placed in the provisional agenda of the UN General Assembly this year.
It will be the first time in 22 years the international community has revisited the issue of the ROC's participation in the UN after it was forced to withdraw in 1971. General Assembly Resolution 2758 gave mainland China the seat that the ROC has occupied in the UN since its inception in 1945; however, the representation issue for the two Chinas has not yet been resolved.
The obstacles to China's unification lie in the differences that have developed during longtime separation. Before unification is realized, the ROC insists on a reasonable international status so that the rights and interests of its 21 million inhabitants are effectively represented. Both the ROC and China should be considered equal political entities in the world and neither should attempt to block the other from engaging on normal international activities.
The initiative of seven Central American countries provides an opportunity for a world forum to address this injustice in a bid to conform to the principle of universal membership as outlined in the UN Charter. China will undoubtedly try every measure to obstruct any effort in this regard. However, China will eventually have to learn that the key to ultimate unification rests upon its continuing economic development, political reform, and abandoning its threat of military force against Taiwan. C. K. Liu, Boston Deputy Director General, Coordination Council for North American Affairs