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Taiwan's attendance at WHA unrelated to 'one China' principle: DPP

2016/05/08 22:00

Taipei, May 8 (CNA) The incoming administration under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will attend the World Health Assembly (WHA), but that does not mean its acceptance of the "one China" principle mentioned in the invitation, a spokesman said Sunday.

Lin Tsou-yen (林奏延), who has been named to take over as the minister of health and welfare in the DPP government that will take power May 20, will attend the WHA in Geneva May 23-28, the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO), said Tung Chen-yuan (童振源), spokesman-designate of the incoming Cabinet.

Lin's representing Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer under the name of "Chinese Taipei" is to ensure Taiwan's continuous contribution to the international community and disease prevention, Tung said.

But it does not mean that the incoming DPP government agrees with the "one China" principle and the United Nations Resolution No. 2758, which was passed on October 25, 1971, recognizing the People's Republic of China (PRC) as "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations" and expelling the representatives of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The U.N. Resolution No. 2758 and "one China" principle were mentioned for the first time by the WHO in its invitation this year.

The incoming DPP government does not believe there is any connection between Taiwan's participation in the WHA and relative events and the "one China" principle, he said.

Citing principles of the WHO Constitution that "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition," Tung said Taiwan's participation should not be restricted by any political frameworks.

Tung said the DPP has sent the Ministry of Health and Welfare a draft statement that expresses the party's stance and demands the ministry to follow to reply to the WHO.

Monday will be the last day of online registration for the WHA.

Tung's remarks came after the invitation to Taiwan for this year's WHA was issued Friday, and after Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), a spokesman of China's Taiwan Affairs Office said Taiwan has been able to attend the WHA conference since 2009 as an observer in a "special arrangement " under the political basis of the "1992 consensus."

The "1992 consensus" has seen by the outgoing government under President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as a tacit agreement between the both sides of the Taiwan Strait that there is only one China, with the two sides free to interpret what that means.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the DPP, however, have never recognized the existence of such a consensus.

Meanwhile, Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉), chief executive of the Foundation of Medical Professionals in Taiwan, said her organization, along with the Taiwan United Nations Alliance will again hold a rally on the first day of the WHA as they did in past years to call for a full membership for Taiwan.

(By Sophia Yeh, Tai Ya-chen, Chen Wei-ting and Kay Liu)enditem/BL

Full text of the invitation:

Dr. Been-Huang Chiang   Minister   Ministry of Health and Welfare 10F. No. 488, Sec. 6, Zhongxiao E. Rd Nangang Dist., Taipei City 11558

6 May 2016

Dear Dr Chiang,

Recalling the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 (XXVI) and WHA Resolution 25.1, and in line with the One-China principle as reflected therein, I wish to invite you to head a delegation from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Chinese Taipei, to attend the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly as an observer. The Assembly will be convened at 9:30 on Monday, 23 May 2016, at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland and will close no later than Saturday, 28 May 2016.

I would appreciate it if you could confirm to me your attendance and the names of attendees from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Chinese Taipei, at your earliest convenience. Registration should be completed by9 May 2016.

Upon receipt of your confirmation, the Secretariat will forward to you the relevant documentation.

Yours sincerely, Dr Margaret Chan Director-General