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UK still opposed to 'referendum'
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08:25, February 27, 2008

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Visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday reiterated London's opposition to Taiwan's planned "referendum on UN membership", calling for more dialogue after the island's coming leadership election.

Campaigning activities are under way in Taiwan, as Frank Hsieh, former head of Taiwan's "Executive Yuan" from the Democratic Progressive Party, competes against Ma Ying-jeou, former Kuomintang party chairman, to lead Taiwan. The election will begin on March 22.

"We don't support the use of referendum as a way for Taiwan to join the UN in the name of Taiwan," Miliband said during a discussion with faculty and students at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai.

"After the March election in Taiwan, there needs to be attempts from both sides to build some dialogue to try to reduce amounted tension across the Taiwan Straits," he said.

"We have a one-China policy which was set 35 years ago."

Miliband arrived in Shanghai on Monday as part of his six-day official visit to China that will also take him to Chongqing and Beijing. He visited Hong Kong during the weekend on the first leg of his trip.

A month earlier, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited China for the first time in his current position, saying the two nations are entering a new era of partnership in environmental issues that goes beyond the existing ones in economy, culture, sports and science.

The UK has promised 50 million pounds ($98.5 million) from its Environmental Transformation Fund to boost the efficient use of energy resources and promote clean energy projects in China. The two countries are also working on an eco-city to be built near Shanghai.

In Hong Kong, Miliband complimented the special administrative region's success 10 years after China resumed sovereignty over the area, saying that it had far exceeded previous expectations.

Source: China Daily

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