China issued a strongly-worded statement in reaction to Taiwan’s announcement on Friday that it would go ahead with a referendum on UN membership, Reuters reported. "If the authority led by Chen Shui-bian stubbornly risks danger in desperation, it will certainly pay a heavy cost," a joint statement by the Communist Party’s Taiwan Work Office and the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office said. The referendum will ask voters whether Taiwan should seek UN membership under the name Taiwan. It is scheduled for March 22, the same date as the Taiwan presidential elections. President Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party was beaten in parliamentary elections last month.