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Taiwan condemns 'barbaric' China for obstructing WHA bid

2019/05/06 23:32:55

Taipei, May 6 (CNA) Taiwan on Monday condemned China's "barbaric behavior" for once again blocking Taiwan from attending the World Health Assembly (WHA), after a Beijing official said China decided not to agree to Taiwan's participation due to its "one China principle."

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said such exclusion runs against the World Health Organization's (WHO) constitution that says the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.

The ministry called on the international community to face the "evil essence of Chinese government" in its repeated attempts to squeeze Taiwan's international space and help Taiwan enjoy the rights it deserves to participate in the international community.

The world will suffer from the consequences if international organizations such as the WHO continue to bow to Chinese pressure to ignore the rights of Taiwan's people, it said.

In a separate statement, the Mainland Affairs Council said China's move not only violates the WHA charter but also proves it is ignoring the health rights and interests of 23 million Taiwanese people.

The deadline for online registration for national delegates to this year's WHA, the decision-making body of the WHO, was Monday (Geneva time), and Taiwan has not received an invitation from the WHO that it would need to register.

The WHA will be held in Geneva from May 20 to 28.

In a news conference Monday afternoon, Geng Shuang (耿爽), a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, said China had decided not to agree to Taiwan's participation in this year's WHA because of its so-called "one China principle."

From 2009 to 2016, Taiwan attended the WHA as an observer under the name of Chinese Taipei, and it was a special arrangement made through cross-strait negotiations on the basis of the "1992 consensus," which both sides adhered to under the "one China principle," Geng said.

Since Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took office in 2016, it "has placed political plotting above the well-being of Taiwan's people while its stubborn persistence in separatism has caused the political foundation for Taiwan's participation in the WHA to no longer exist," he alleged.

The "one China principle" argues that there is only one China in the world represented by the People's Republic of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, a proposition that is not accepted by the vast majority of Taiwanese.

The Kuomintang administration of former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), which pursued a more conciliatory policy toward Beijing, saw the 1992 consensus as a formula in which there was only one China, but that each side could define what "one China" meant.

After Tsai of the pro-independence DPP took office in 2016 and rejected the existence of the "1992 consensus," the WHA stopped inviting Taiwan to its annual meetings in Geneva, amid political pressure from China.

In 2017 and 2018, Taiwan sent delegations to Geneva to meet on the sidelines of the WHA with officials from participating countries and to protest its exclusion from the meetings.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) will lead a delegation to Geneva this year to take part in similar activities.

Chen and the Taiwan delegation will set off for Geneva on May 17 and are scheduled to return home on May 23 or 24.

(By Tang Pei-chun, Shine Chen, Elizabeth Hsu, Joseph Yeh and William
Yen)
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