Sep 30, 1992


GENEVA, 29 SEPTEMBER (TWN) – The GATT Council agreed to establishment of two separate working parties Tuesday over the requests for accession of Taiwan - described as "Chinese Taipeh" and covering the separate customs territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu Islands.

Earlier, the Council, had agreed to set up a working party on Ecuador’s accession request and granted observer status to Latvia, Lithuania and Kazakstan.

On the Talast, Council Chairman, Amb. B. K. Zutshi, made a statement in effect outlining the understanding on the basis of which the Taipeh request was being processed and dealt with. Everyone, he underlined, acknowledged that there was only one China as decided in the UN General Assembly resolution of 25 October 1971 (which ousted Taiwanese delegation from the Chinese seat and gave it to the PRC representatives).

Many CPs, Zutshi said, agreed with the view of the PRC that Chinese Taipeh as a separate customs territory should not accede to GATT before the PRC, while some CPs did not share this view. There was however a general desire to establish a working party for Chinese Taipeh. Taking all the views expressed, Council Chairman added, there was a consensus on this on the following terms, which also met the PRC's concerns:

* The working party on China's status as a contracting party should expeditiously continue its work, taking account of the pace of China's economic reforms and report to the Council as soon as possible.

* The working party on Chinese Taipei should be set up and report to the Council expeditiously.

* The Council should give full consideration to all views expressed, and in particular examine the China working party's report and adopt the protocol for the PRC before examining the report and adopting the protocol on Chinese Taipei.

The terms of representation of Chinese Taipei's delegates would be the same as that of Hong Kong and Macao and would have no significance on the sovereignty issue. Arrangements for the representation office in Geneva would be done by the Swiss authorities on the same basis as for Hong Kong and Macao, he added.