Thu, May 22, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers decry Beijing's `big lies' at WHA

By Fiona Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislators who participated in the lobbying group for WHO participation give a thumbs-down during a press conference yesterday to condemn China's obstruction of Taiwan's WHO bid.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Five lawmakers who went to the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva yesterday criticized China for obstructing Taiwan's bid to become a World Health Organization (WHO) observer.

"We deeply regret that the mission has not yet been completed, but we must protest against the lies of the Chinese delegation at the assembly," DPP Legislator Parris Chang (張旭成) said at a press conference after returning from his visit to Geneva.

TSU Legislator John Wang (王振中), who represents overseas Chinese, flew from the US to join the five-member delegation of KMT and DPP lawmakers that traveled to Geneva to lobby for the bid.

Chang said Beijing owed the people of Taiwan an apology for its irrational objections to Taiwan becoming a WHO observer.

He said the nation should consider dubbing next year's campaign to be an observer at the WHO as "big lies" to demonstrate the country's resentment over China's obstructionist tactics.

KMT Legislator Sun Kuo-hwa (孫國華), the only pan-blue lawmaker on the trip, said the delegation would ask the government to reply to the false claims made by Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi (吳儀), who led the Chinese delegation.

"The delegation members tomorrow will demand that the Executive Yuan draft the official response and correction to the Chinese vice premier's false claim that Beijing has been supervising Taiwan in controlling the SARS outbreak," he said.

Sun said he was confident the country would succeed one day in becoming a WHO observer.

"By witnessing the efforts of the Department of Health and other ministries in the bid this time, I am convinced that the country will achieve the goal of entering the WHO as long as we continue to work for it," he said.

DPP Legislator Chien Chao-tung (簡肇棟) also questioned Wu's credibility at the health assembly.

"Wu's claim about sending 1,000 sets of SARS kits to Taiwan was a lie," Chien said.

"She even tried to make out that ordinary professional exchanges between medical experts on both sides of the strait before the epidemic were actually evidence of cross-strait cooperation in battling the disease," Chien said.

Chien urged lawmakers from all parties to be more cautious in promoting cross-strait exchanges, which Beijing could describe as evidence of unification.

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