Taiwan proposal meets major setback at WHA, ‘will never work’

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/19 17:58:35

File Photo WHA

The US’ attempt to get Taiwan a position at the ongoing World Health Assembly was met with a setback as the WHA has announced that it will not discuss the proposal on “inviting Taiwan to join WHA as an observer”. 

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press conference on Tuesday that the move showed the Taiwan authority’s and a few countries’ attempt to push the Taiwan proposal at the WHA did not work. The facts once again proved that there is no way to promote “Taiwan independence," and hyping proposals related to Taiwan issues at the WHA has proven to be unpopular.

Amid the spread of COVID-19, all member states are expected to focus on joint efforts to fight the pandemic. Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party and a few countries are going against most WHO member states’ wishes, persistently hyping proposals related to Taiwan, attempting to interfere with the WHA agenda and destroying international anti-virus cooperation. Their real aim of putting political considerations above global health security has been revealed, Zhao said.

Ambassador Chen Xu, China's Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, said at the WHA that after negotiations, all parties agreed not to discuss issues related to Taiwan in order not to disturb the process of the assembly. 

However, a few countries insisted on hyping Taiwan issues, which seriously violated the related resolutions of the UN and the WHO, and destroyed the global effort in fighting COVID-19, according to a release from the permanent mission’s website.

Chen said that Taiwan’s participation in international activities should come under the one-China principle. However, the Taiwan authority has refused to accept the one-China principle, which means the political basis for its taking part in the WHO’s activities “does not exist.”

“China urges a certain country to put more focus on COVID-19 prevention work and saving lives, and to take responsibility for its own people and the international community. Confrontations and divergence will not win hearts and joint work is the only way to fight against the virus,” Chen said. 

“The announcement by the WHA also showed the US is facing major frustration as it has made so much effort to hype issues related to Taiwan in recent days. However, the result is not unexpected for the Chinese mainland and the international community, as most countries know the US and Taiwan’s tricks very well,” Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times.

The US-led campaign to help Taiwan attend the WHA as an observer without acknowledging the one-China principle is a farce. The Chinese mainland’s red line for safeguarding national unity will never change, Xin said. 

Zhao said on Tuesday that most WHO member states stick to the one-China principle and firmly safeguard the resolutions of the WHO and WHA, and China appreciates their upholding of justice. 

People in Taiwan island are our kith and kin, and the Chinese government will take all necessary measures to protect their health and happiness. 
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, apart from experts from the Chinese mainland, experts from Taiwan were invited in the early stages and the Chinese mainland has reported and shared information on the coronavirus 152 times, Zhao noted. 

Abiding by the one-China principle, the Chinese mainland has also made proper arrangements for Taiwan to join in global affairs related to public health. There are no obstacles for experts from Taiwan participating in technical activities organized by the WHO. Since 2019, 16 groups of 24 experts have taken part in such activities, the spokesperson said. 

Taiwan also has a liaison office through which it can get timely reports from the WHO on the coronavirus, and all channels to get anti-virus information are effective and unblocked, according to Zhao. 

The so-called “loophole for international prevention” is the Taiwan authority’s excuse to seek independence, and the international community has seen through its attempt.

“We suggest that the DPP understand the reality and not go further astray on the road for independence. Relying on foreign countries will not shake the one-China situation either. We also urge some countries not to misunderstand China’s resolution and ability to safeguard its core interest and national unity. They should stop any move that may challenge the one-China principle,” the spokesperson said.


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