(dpa) - Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Tuesday warned Taiwan against an upcoming referendum on Taiwanese membership in the United Nations, saying a vote in favour would increase tensions between the two countries.
Speaking at a press conference at the conclusion of the annual People's Congress in Beijing, the Chinese premier said a majority vote for UN membership would threatened peace and stability for the Pacific region and be a "major strike" against the Taiwan's own interests.
The reality tha China and Taiwan belong together cannot be denied, Wen said.
In the referendum, the governing DPP party of Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian is seeking membership of the island nation under the name "Taiwan" instead of the official title "the Republic of China."
Previous attempts at UN membership by Taiwan have always failed due to resistance from mainland China, which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
In Taiwan's presidential elections (taken place along with the referendum), Ma Ying-jeou - the candidate of the opposition Nationalists or Kuomintang (KMT) party - has according recent opinion polls good chances of defeating DPP candidate Frank Hsieh.
Both candidates, in contrast to Chen, support a more moderate course toward China, from which Taiwan split after civil war.
Ma in addition on Tuesday warned that in the face of Chinese actions in Tibet a Taiwanese boycott of the Olympic Games in China could not be excluded. Taiwan is scheduled to send 37 athletes to the games.