TAIPEI After 14 failed attempts at joining the United Nations using media campaigns and presidential appeals, Taiwan is turning to a local goth-style rock band backed by Ozzy Osbourne in its quest for membership to the world body.
The band, named ChthoniC, will travel to at least 80 cities in four countries by the end of the year, supported in part by the Taiwan government, which is providing pro-U.N. literature and a slogan-painted truck.
The band will visit Canada, Germany, Britain and the United States.
ChthoniC has also recorded a song urging the United Nations to let Taiwan join, even though its bid for membership keeps getting knocked down because of objections from Beijing.
"I'm not for any political party, but I'm for my poor country's joining the United Nations," band lyricist Freddy Lim told reporters on Wednesday at the tour's launch.
Ozzy Osbourne, a satanic-theme rocker known for biting heads off bats on stage, is helping set up 20 of the U.S. gigs, paying some transport costs and letting the Taiwan band promote U.N. membership as it wishes, Lim said. He said the band hooked up with Osbourne through personal connections.
Taiwan's leadership came up with the idea as it prepares to reapply for U.N. membership later this year, the cabinet's news office said on Tuesday.
China blocks self-ruled Taiwan's applications every year because it sees the island as part of its territory and not a separate country. The two sides split after civil war in 1949, and Taiwan left the United Nations in 1971 under Chinese pressure.