Taiwan pro-separatist groups mocked for counting on ‘crippled’ US

By Liu Xin and Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/19 21:13:40

Photo taken on July 21, 2019 from Xiangshan Mountain shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan.Photo:Xinhua

 The attempt to push for proposals related to Taiwan at the World Health Assembly by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the island has once again failed. After the WHA announced it would not discuss the proposal, netizens from the Chinese mainland and the island of Taiwan mocked pro-separatist forces in Taiwan for "betting on the wrong horse" as the US has been "crippled by its own failure to control the COVID-19 domestically" and most member states of the WHO stuck to the one-China principle. 

Only state members of the WHO have the right to attend the WHA. However, the DPP and pro-separatist groups in the island of Taiwan have been working hard to push for Taiwan's attendance at the WHA "as an observer" since 2017. 

Compared to previous years, Ms Keva Bain from the Bahamas, president of this year's WHA was more "decisive and clear" about not discussing Taiwan-related proposals, experts said. 

From 2017 to 2019, Taiwan-related proposals had entered into a limited discussion process - a 2 by 2 debate would be held by supporters and those who oppose. And the WHA president would give the final say. The Taiwan-related proposals were rejected by the presidents in the previous three years.    

At the 50th WHA in 1997, the Taiwan authority incited its "diplomatic allies" to start a vote among all member states and got 128 vetoes, 19 votes and five abstentions. The proposal to take in Taiwan in the WHA as an observer failed to get approved. The assembly was prolonged for five and a half hours. 

This year's WHA kicked off amid the global COVID-19 pandemic with the assembly being shortened to two days and in the form of a video conference.

The WHA president chose to reject the Taiwan-related proposal without debate. This move shows that the political practice should not take the precious time of the international community's discussions on fighting the COVID-19. It also proves that the DPP's attempt to use the WHA to seek separatism of the island was opposed by the international community, experts said.  

US President Donald Trump answers questions from the media during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on April 21. Photo: AFP


 An insider familiar with this year's WHA said that so far, more than 160 countries have reiterated their support to the one-China principle and more than 50 countries sent letters to WHO General-Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to oppose the Taiwan proposal. 

Netizens from the Chinese mainland and the island of Taiwan ridiculed the DPP for "betting on the wrong horse." 

"US President Donald Trump and his administration have been haunted by the failure to control the virus domestically and are busy blaming China and the WHO. How does the Taiwan authority rely on 'a partner' who is threatening to withdraw from the WHO?" a netizen surnamed Liu said. 

Chinese mainland analysts said that the separatist DPP in Taiwan thought that ithas found the "big brother" - the Trump administration  - and have paid a huge amount of money to flatter the US. But the "big brother" is not as reliable as they have thought, since all efforts they paid to challenge the one-China principle in the WHA failed, as always.

"They just don't get it. If they really want to be a WHA observer, the most effective path is through Beijing, not through Washington. That's why they are wasting money by begging the wrong boss but offend the one who can really help,"" a Beijing-based observer said, who requested anonymity. "What a hilarious behavior!"

Some US politicians also praised Taiwan for preventing the pandemic and using this as an excuse to support the island to attend the assembly. But they ignored the fact that Taiwan has fewer infected cases because the mainland shared all the information it got to the island immediately, and Taiwan's necessary technical cooperation with the WHO have never been interrupted, Chinese analysts noted.

"Taiwan is an island which was almost automatically locked down from the Chinese mainland as it can only connect with the mainland by air and ocean. And due to the worsening cross-Straits relations, people-to-people exchanges between the two sides have been mostly suspended, so it is not hard for Taiwan to keep the number low," Li Xiaobing, a Taiwan studies expert at Nankai University in Tianjin, told the Global Times previously. 

Compared to other Chinese provinces, Taiwan did not have the best performance. For instance, Jiangsu Province with more than 80 million people, about 3.5 times more than Taiwan's population, has only 51 confirmed cases and all were cured with zero deaths as of Monday, according to the latest data released by the Jiangsu provincial government website. 

But Taiwan has 440 confirmed cases and seven deaths, according to Taiwan's public health authority.

Newspaper headline: Taiwan pro-separatist groups mocked for counting on ‘crippled’ US


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