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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 16) - China has taken steps to block Taiwan’s latest attempt to join the United Nations.

Taiwan, which has tried to join the U.N. every year since 1993, has urged the international body to end its "political apartheid."

But in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Beijing condemned Taiwan’s bid, saying it brings cross-straits relations to the brink of danger and seriously threatens peace and stability in the region.

China has claimed sovereignty over the island since its split in 1949 and tensions have been high since the March re-election of Taiwan’s President, Chen Shui-bian.

China’s envoy to the United Nations, Zhang Yishan, has urged Annan to circulate the letter as a formal document among U.N. members.

August 17, 2004

Radio Australia:

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