HONG KONG - The United States opposes the notion of a referendum as to whether or not Taiwan joins the United Nations in the name of Taiwan, said a senior US official in Washington on Monday.
"We see that as a step towards a declaration of independence of Taiwan, towards an alteration of the status quo," US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said in an interview with Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.
He said the US considers the idea of referendum "a mistake".
He said Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian has made commitments to the American President, to the international community, and to the people of Taiwan not to take any kind of steps that would represent a unilateral alteration of the status quo, such as a change in the official name of Taiwan.
"What I would like to emphasize is that we believe it's important to avoid any kind of provocative steps on the part of Taiwan," he said.