WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus should not allow politics to supersede professionalism, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said yesterday after it was reported that Tedros had complained about Internet commentary that he was pro-China and unfit to continue in his position.
The Chinese-language report by Up Media on Thursday cited a source familiar with Taiwanese foreign affairs as saying that Tedros blamed Taiwan for attacks on his person and that the nation’s bid to join the WHO had an “ulterior political motive.”
While Chang said he could not be certain what Tedros had said, regardless of the comments, his allegations were not true.
“The truth is that an increasing number of nations doubt the WHO’s ability to handle the pandemic and had the WHO been more deft in its handling of the outbreak, the number of lives lost could have been reduced,” Chang said.
Taiwan is not behind a global campaign to smear Tedros and the WHO, especially Tedros, should concentrate on leading the global fight against COVID-19, Chang said.
“The world does not need meaningless lies, it needs action,” he said.
Taiwan has the experience and capability to help the rest of the world with disease prevention measures, Chang said.
“‘Taiwan can help’ is not just a slogan, it is a statement of our capability and readiness to act,” Chang said, adding that the government would continue to work with like-minded nations and look to strengthen those ties.
Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), an epidemiologist who was minister of health during the 2003 SARS outbreak, has criticized Tedros several times for echoing China’s view of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a failure to act before it spread worldwide.
The WHO could improve “by strengthening its professionalism, involving more nations and, most importantly, by lessening political interference,” Chen said on Tuesday when asked how to change the WHO for the better.
‘NOT AN INCH’: The president said after incursions by Chinese warplanes that there should be very smooth collaboration between the executive and military branches President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that Taiwan would not budge “an inch” on issues of sovereign territory and would stalwartly defend its democratic freedoms. Tsai made the remarks during an inspection of surface-to-air missiles at an air force base in Hualien. She was accompanied by National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Wellington Koo (顧立雄), Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發), Chief of the General Staff Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) and Republic of China Air Force Commander Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基). After attending a briefing, Tsai was given a demonstration of procedures for a missile launch. Tsai granted the base a one-time subsidy to boost troop
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the