Mon, May 19, 2003 - Page 8 News List

WHO needs to face up to China

By Paul Lin 林保華

Article 1 of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Constitution stipulates, "The objective of the World Health Organization shall be the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health." This is a humanitarian concern. But unfortunately, 23 million Taiwanese citizens are not among "all peoples." Aren't Taiwanese citizens "people" as well? Of course they are. But the WHO's high-ranking officials lack humanity. Or perhaps it's not because they are devoid of humanity, but because they are affected by the inhumane policies of communist China.

We know that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) believes there is no humanity that transcends class. Its humanitarianism is termed "revolutionary humanitarianism." The CCP does not recognize humanitarianism that does not tally with the political goal of "revolution." They never publicly rejected these doctrines, even after they began so-called "reforms and liberalization."

During the Cultural Revolution, people had to first disclose their status when seeing a doctor. Doctors could refuse to treat people from the "five black categories (黑五類)" -- ?landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, evildoers and rightists. Some "troublemakers," including high-ranking communist cadres, lost their lives for no reason.

But no one would have thought that China would apply that approach to Taiwan. As SARS was spreading in China and Hong Kong to the point of threatening Taiwan, the WHO dared not send its personnel to Taiwan to provide directive opinions without China's approval because Taiwan belongs to the five black categories in China's eyes.

Only after Taiwan's disease control network had been punctured,? jeopardizing people's health and raising fears that the outbreak might spread, like in Hong Kong, did the WHO dispatch its specialists to the country. China took pleasure in claiming that it had approved their trip to Taiwan, as if it were already Taiwan's master.

SARS originated in China. The CCP exported the virus into Taiwan and took advantage of Taiwan's crisis to demonstrate its claim over Taiwan. This is no different from its launching biochemical warfare on Taiwan and then taking advantage of Taiwan's casualties and public panic to occupy the nation. It is this lack of humanity that makes China a "rogue state" in the US' eyes.

Faced with a grave SARS outbreak in her own country, China's Health Minister Wu Yi (吳儀) still stressed in a telephone conversation with US Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson that Taiwan is part of China and is not qualified to join the WHO. Wu also said that China is very much concerned about the health of its Taiwanese compatriots, and that Taiwan's professional health organizations have sent specialists to China to study and attend relevant conferences there.

Taiwan's Department of Health (DOH) convened an international conference to address the SARS problem in April. China refused to send its scholars and professionals to Taiwan under the pretext that it could not make it in time. How could it decline to contribute its precious opinions if it really cared about the health of the Taiwanese people? Taiwanese specialists' attendance at a seminar in Beijing was painted by Wu as a proof that the central authorities are concerned about Taiwan's performance. The Taiwanese experts, who thought they could leave politics aside, fell into China's trap.

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