DPP hits back over name accusations

NAME GAME::A DPP spokesman said that the party had never accepted the name ‘Taiwan, China,’ when in power and supported WHO membership, but not at the cost of sovereignty

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter, with CNA

Mon, May 16, 2011 - Page 1

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) yesterday rebutted accusations by the Presidential Office that the party had accepted participation in international organizations under the name “Taiwan, China,” when it was in power.

Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Chi-tai (范姜基泰) had said it was “inappropriate” for DPP Chairperson and presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to accuse the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration of sacrificing the country’s sovereignty in exchange for participation in international organizations, because the DPP administration had also accepted using the name “Taiwan, China” to secure such engagement.

Fan Chiang said that whether the KMT or the DPP were in power, the Republic of China faced the same diplomatic dilemma.

Cheng said Fan Chiang’s remarks showed that the Presidential Office was trying to twist the facts and urged both political parties to strive toward consensus on the issue based on the idea that the protection of Taiwan’s status as a sovereign country should be the priority.

He said the DPP administration had never accepted the name “Taiwan, China,” and that when the principle of universality was adopted into the International Health Regulations, the US, the EU and Japan voiced their support for Taiwan’s admission into the WHO, leading to Beijing’s signing of a secret memorandum of understanding with the WHO secretariat to refer to Taiwan as a part of China.

However, Cheng said the DPP government never accepted such an arrangement.

The DPP supports Taiwan’s full membership in the WHO, but not at the cost of the country’s sovereignty, Cheng said, adding that this is how the DPP is different from the KMT.

Meanwhile, Department of Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達), who arrived in Geneva to represent Taiwan at the World Health Assembly (WHA), said that the nation was attending the annual WHA with dignity and professionalism as an “observer” under the name “Chinese Taipei.”

Chiu, who is heading a 17--member delegation, arrived at the Palace of Nations in Geneva earlier in the day, where the annual WHA meeting will be held from today until May 25.

He said Taiwan must attend the assembly so that its voice and opinions could be heard and its national cause defended.

Chiu said he was pleased to be invited to the 64th WHA meeting as a “minister” and “an observer” to obtain first-hand health-related information for Taiwan.

Chiu also said he would lodge a written protest with the WHO for its denigration of Taiwan’s sovereign status after a DPP legislator revealed recently that the WHO intends to refer to the country as “Taiwan, province of China,” in all its communications.

The delegation members, who will speak at 14 out of the 17 WHA technical sessions, will introduce Taiwan’s medical care system to the other participants.