pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Issues & Insights Vol. 03 – No. 06

In the run-up to the 2004 presidential elections, Taiwan faces the prospect of a national referendum on whether it should join the World Health Organization (WHO) as an observer. This referendum is connected to Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s desire to prepare the Taiwan people for a vote on the future of Taiwan: whether it should become an independent sovereign country called Taiwan or unite with mainland China. The complexity of the China-Taiwan question and the realities of the international relations and international legal provisions make a referendum on the China-Taiwan question a hazardous political event.