Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) on Friday confirmed that the nation had received an invitation from the WHO to send officials to its annual World Health Assembly (WHA), which is to be held in Geneva later this month, adding that it would be passed on to the new government under president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
For the past seven years, the WHO has sent an invitation to Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei.”
What is different this time is that the invitation mentioned UN Resolution No. 2758 and the “one China” principle, which is understood to mean that there is only “one China,” with Beijing interpreting that as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) encompassing Taiwan.
The resolution was passed on Oct. 25, 1971, and recognized the PRC as “the only legitimate representative of China to the UN,” expelling the representatives of the Republic of China (ROC).
This year’s meeting is to be held in Geneva from May 23 to May 28, shortly after the inauguration of Tsai on May 20.
Chen said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) viewed the invitation in a positive light, believing it to be an extension of the so-called “1992 consensus,” which refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have never recognized the existence of such a consensus.
This year’s WHO invitation, for the first time doing so under the premise of the “one China” principle, is widely seen as the first challenge directed at Tsai.
The incoming administration has to decide by tomorrow, the last day of online registration for the WHA, if it wants to attend the conference.
On Friday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) stressed China’s “clear and consistent” stance on Taiwan’s participation in the international community, which he said was that “reasonable arrangement will be made through cross-strait consultation under the ‘one China’ principle.”
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,” he said.
He added that as Taiwan has expressed a desire to attend the conference several times this year, China heeded the wish and made the arrangement in goodwill.
He said that if the “political basis” is to be destroyed, it would be hard to continue such an arrangement.
China has consistently obstructed Taiwan’s efforts to take part in international organizations, but lifted its objection to Taiwan’s bid to become a WHO observer less than a year after Ma Ying-jeou began his first presidential term in May 2008.
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
SKIN, ENTRAILS: Placards also dotted the legislative chamber, with slogans such as ‘Oppose ractopamine pork — not US pork’ and ‘Much ado about nothing’ Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday pelted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) with pig skin and entrails as he addressed the Legislative Yuan on pork imports for the first time since the KMT’s boycott began on Sept. 18. Opposition lawmakers have been demanding an apology from the government for its decision to lift its ban on the importation of US pork containing residues of the livestock drug ractopamine. After Su arrived at 10am for his 13th attempt to deliver a regular policy report, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus moved to change the agenda to accommodate the premier. The motion resulted in cries of
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as