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MOFA to protest U.N.'s exclusion of Taiwanese visitors

2018/10/12 17:45:01

Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) Responding to a media report that Taiwanese visitors were denied entry into the United Nations headquarters in New York, Taiwan's government said Friday it will lodge a protest to the U.N. over the issue.

A reporter with the United Daily News said in a report that she was refused entry to U.N. headquarters after presenting her Republic of China (Taiwan) passport.

She then showed her travel permit issued by Chinese authorities for Taiwanese people but was still turned away by U.N. guards, who cited new U.N. regulations.

The reporter, who had booked a guided tour to the U.N. building online, said she was told that only those who hold People's Republic of China passports or other proof of identity issued by China are allowed to enter.

Travel documents issued by China for Taiwanese people are no longer accepted, the report said, noting that another visitor from Taiwan who had obtained a Chinese travel permit for the occasion was also denied entry.

In response to the report, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the ministry has asked its office in New York to verify the incident and will file a protest to the U.N. with the help of like-minded countries through appropriate channels.

The MOFA will ask the world body to not discriminate against Taiwanese visitors in line with its universal principles of fairness and justice, Lee said, as blocking visits by people from Taiwan has seriously infringed on their rights.

According to the United Daily News report, Taiwanese showing ROC passports have been blocked from visiting U.N. headquarters since last year.

Though Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) has also urged the U.N. to open its doors to Taiwanese visitors, the situation has only gotten worse, the report said.

(By Elaine Hou and Flor Wang)