China's repeated obstruction of Taiwan's observership bid to join the World Health Assembly (WHA) was not smart and had "let goodwill, if any, go down the drain," President Chen Shui-bian (
"China is not too bright. It is a great pity that China often misjudges the situation and lacks an understanding of Taiwan's public opinion and Taiwanese society," Chen said yesterday while receiving former French prime minister Michel Rocard at the Presidential Office.
Chen made the remarks in view of the failure of Taiwan's ninth consecutive bid to be included in the world health body. The WHA -- the highest decision-making body in the World Health Organization (WHO) -- decided not to list Taiwan's bid on its agenda.
China and the WHO signed a memorandum of understanding last Saturday regulating Taiwan's contacts with the health body and stating that Taiwan can only seek technical assistance from the WHO via China, and that the WHO cannot send medical experts to Taiwan without Beijing's permission.
"It seems to me that China's `goodwill' in offering lavish welcomes during the two Taiwanese opposition leaders' recent China visits has disappeared, as Beijing again bluntly blocked our WHA bid in Geneva," Chen said, referring to the recent pilgrimages made by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (
"If China had actually shown any goodwill toward Taiwan when the two Taiwanese opposition leaders visited Beijing, that goodwill has gone down the drain," he added, warning that China's incessant marginalization and oppression of Taiwan will only further the gulf separating Taiwan and China, and will incite more abhorrence from the people of Taiwan toward China.
Noting that if what Chinese Minister of Health Gao Qiang (
Although China has misjudged the situation, Chen said Taiwan will never give up its effort to seek rapprochement and dialogue with China.
"No matter how big the differences are, both sides of the Taiwan Strait should settle their disputes through peaceful dialogue," he told Rocard, who currently serves as a member of the European Parliament.
Noting that the principles of democracy, peace and equality were what European countries had used as the basis for transformation into a union, Chen told his French guest that he hoped French President Jacques Chirac would tell Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) about these three principles.
If Hu ever takes them into account, Chirac would have made a great contribution, Chen added.
Meanwhile, commenting on China's latest obstruction of Taiwan's bid to join the WHA, Vice President Annette Lu (
"The move shows that China is arrogant and heartless," Lu said.
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
‘A RICH STORY’: People need to visit Taichung to experience real gourmet food, the transportation minister said, as 21 restaurants there made it to the Bib Gourmand list Seventy-five restaurants and street vendors in Taipei and Taichung made the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list this year, including 47 that were listed last year, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday. Insepctors from the Michelin Guide started rating restaurants and street vendor food in the nation’s capital in 2018. For the third edition this year, inspectors would evaluate the gourmet scenes in Taipei and, for the first time, Taichung. Before revealing the list of Michelin-starred restaurants, the guide first discloses its Bib Gourmand list, which contains restaurateurs and food vendors that serve high-quality three-course meals at a total cost of NT$1,000
POLICY PROPOSAL: Shorter quarantines with stricter test requirements would help keep the number of undetected asymptomatic cases low, preventing flare-ups of COVID-19 National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) yesterday said a classification for foreign countries based on COVID-19 infection risk should be introduced, and the mandatory 14-day quarantine shortened to five days with two mandatory tests for travelers from high-risk countries. New imported cases and foreign nationals testing positive after returning home from Taiwan has sparked public debate on whether the government should expand COVID-19 testing to all inbound travelers to better detect asymptomatic cases locally, he said. Taiwan has so far done a good job detecting most COVID-19 cases at its border, due to strict border