Taiwan is not under China’s political control, the Presidential Office said yesterday in response to China’s blocking of Taiwan from attending this year’s World Heath Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Taiwan is not a province that is governed by the People’s Republic of China [PRC]. The Republic of China [ROC] is a sovereign nation,” the statement said.
The ROC government does not recognize or accept the actions of the government of the PRC, the statement added.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission Chairperson Li Bin (李斌) has all but closed the door on Taiwan’s participation at the WHO’s annual assembly until Taiwan accepts Beijing’s “one China” principle.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Li said that China had previously “agreed to let the Taiwan region attend” WHA meetings under a “special arrangement” based on acceptance of the “one China” principle, adding that the refusal of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to accept the principle “has destroyed the goodwill basis for the continuous attendance of the Taiwan region at the assembly.”
“It is the DPP itself which has set the barrier that has impeded the participation of the Taiwan region at the WHA,” Li said. “Only when the political basis that reflects the ‘one China’ principle has been confirmed can regular exchanges across the [Taiwan] Strait be sustained.”
Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said China’s use of political reasoning to force the exclusion of Taiwan from international organizations would cause it to lose the support of the international community.
“The prevention of epidemics should have nothing to do with the borders of nations; the WHO belongs to the world,” Huang said.
Taiwanese are members of the global community and have the same rights to health as people elsewhere, he said, adding that Taiwan is committed to continuing working with the international community on health-related issues.
The Mainland Affairs Council yesterday said the government has never adhered to Beijing’s “one China” principle.
The council strongly criticized China’s “confusion of the international community and attempt to conceal the facts.”
Taiwan’s years of contributions to world health have been achieved through the hard work of the public and the government, and has nothing to do with the “one China” principle, it said.
“China will not achieve its political aims by pressuring Taiwan. Doing so will only cause the two nations to drift farther apart,” the council said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said China’s insistence on adherence to the “one China” principle is unilateral and not in accordance with the facts.
The DPP said in a statement that as a sovereign nation, Taiwan’s right to join the WHO should not be unilaterally decided by Beijing.
Additional reporting by Chiu Yan-ling and AP
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the