Taipei's efforts to raise its international profile by promoting 'human rights diplomacy' are not meant to antagonise Beijing, new Foreign Minister Tien Hung-mao said yesterday. Mr Tien's comment came as Beijing again stepped up its criticism of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian for failing to accept Beijing's 'one China' principle. Mr Tien said yesterday that Taipei would pursue 'human rights' diplomacy and what he called a 'second-track' approach to international affairs so that Taiwan could become a member of the 'global village'. This meant Taipei wanted to play a more active role in international humanitarian efforts and cultivate contacts with academics and former officials with links with their governments. Mr Tien was confident that such a 'second track' might even help build confidence between Taiwan and the mainland. 'It seems to me that non-official contacts in the form of unofficial gatherings and discussions between experts and former officials to talk about cross-straits issues and American policies related to the mainland and Taiwan have been useful at a time when there is an absence of official dialogue and contacts,' he said. Mr Tien said the emphasis on human rights was not meant to antagonise the mainland, which faced constant criticism from Western countries for human rights violations. He said Taiwan also would seek to take part in the activities of organisations related to the United Nations dealing with humanitarian or health issues. 'We are not talking about membership. If we can become part of UN-related efforts in doing anything that will be to the good of humanity, we would like to be part of that,' Mr Tien said. Beijing has repeatedly stressed that Taiwan has no right to join any international bodies which require statehood as a prerequisite. The island is recognised by only 29 countries, mostly third-world nations in Africa and Latin America. Meanwhile, Xinhua yesterday criticised Mr Chen's inauguration speech for not recognising the 'one China' principle. 'This indicates that the new Taiwan leader does not want to improve cross-strait ties,' it said. The commentary stressed that 'Taiwan independence' was a road to destruction and reiterated that the issue could not continue to be unresolved indefinitely. But Chen Ming-tong, vice-chairman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which handles Taiwan's mainland policy, signalled yesterday that the new Government was backing away from the agreement which once made it possible for the rivals to hold historic ice-breaking meetings. Referring to the 1992 'consensus', an agreement between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Strait Exchange Foundation, Mr Chen said the accord was outdated and a fresh agreement was needed. 'We want a new way of thinking,' Mr Chen said. 'We don't want to get stuck on something from 1992. We want to go beyond that.'