The US Department of State on Friday launched a “TweetforTaiwan” campaign to rally support for Taiwan’s participation in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA).
The annual WHA, the WHO’s decisionmaking body, is expected to meet virtually on May 18 for its 73rd session.
Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer from 2009 to 2016, but has not been invited since.
After the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the US’ de facto embassy in Taiwan, on Friday launched a “WHACountdown” series of Facebook posts, the department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs took to Twitter to urge support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHA.
“The US believes firmly that #Taiwan belongs at the table when the world discusses #COVID19 and other threats to global health. Before 2017, Beijing didn’t object to Taiwan joining the World Health Assembly as an Observer. What’s changed? #TweetforTaiwan,” the bureau wrote as part of a volley of tweets.
The bureau also shared President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) post on Taiwan’s success in containing the pandemic, writing: “@iingwen, the contrast with the #PRC is striking. China’s response to the outbreak of #COVID19 has been to hide the facts, muzzle its scientists and censor discussion.”
The US mission to the UN wrote on Twitter that “@UN was founded to serve as a venue for all voices, a forum that welcomes a diversity of views & perspectives, & promotes human freedom. Barring #Taiwan from setting foot on UN grounds is an affront not just to the proud Taiwanese people, but to UN principles. #TweetforTaiwan.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked the US for its support and creative campaign, adding that the hashtag campaign fully demonstrates Taiwan-US rapport.
Meanwhile, the Chinese mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, blasted the tweet campaign as “[a]nother political trick,” saying that UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 “has long put an end to the Taiwan question.”
“Strongly oppose using this question to interefere [sic] in China’s internal affairs. Trying to shift the blame for inadequate response to #COVID19 in US? No way,” its tweet read, while tagging the bureau and the US Mission to the UN at the end of its post.
The Chinese mission on Friday issued a statement voicing its objection to the US mission’s stated support for Taiwan.
“There is only one China in the world. The government of the People’s Republic China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China,” it said.
It urged the US to immediately stop speaking for Taiwan, and politicizing and undermining the international response to the pandemic, while abiding by its so-called “one China” principle, the Three Joint Communiques and UN General Assembly Resolution 2758.
‘TRUSTED PARTNER’: The company said that it is ‘committed to help bring an end to the pandemic,’ while the health minister denied it was a ‘chips for vaccines’ deal BioNTech on Wednesday said that it plans to provide its COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that in December last year the German company at the last minute halted a deal for the nation to to buy 5 million doses. Earlier on Wednesday, Chen said that officials were on the verge of announcing the deal when BioNTech pulled the plug, although he added that it was still pending and had not been torn up. While he did not say that China was to blame, Chen implied there was a political dimension to the decision. “BioNTech
SPY GAMES: For more than 20 years, intelligence officers traveled to China, where they identified other MIB personnel and allegedly traded secrets for money and gifts The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted four retired Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) officials, who are accused of providing China with a list of bureau personnel and other classified materials while attempting to recruit colleagues into a spy network in Taiwan. Prosecutors charged Chang Chao-jan (張超然), Chou Tien-tzu (周天慈) and Wang Ta-wang (王大旺), former colonels at the bureau, and Yueh Chih-chung (岳志忠) — a former major general and chief of the MIB’s Fifth Bureau, where he was in charge of sending agents to China on covert assignments — with breaches of the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the National Intelligence Services
CONTINUED VIGILANCE: People would still be required to wear masks at eight types of public spaces and border controls would continue, Chen Shih-chung told reporters The government’s autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to continue beyond Sunday, but eating and drinking on high-speed trains would be allowed from Monday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while there were no new confirmed cases in Taiwan yesterday, the global COVID-19 situation remains serious, so the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program would be extended beyond its Sunday deadline. “Border control measures, including requiring a negative polymerase chain reaction test result obtained within three days of boarding a plane to Taiwan, and undergoing quarantine in a
MORE RISK? Three Taiwanese family members were found to have the Brazilian variant, which CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo said might be more infectious From Wednesday, all travelers who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days are required to be quarantined at a centralized facility after arriving in Taiwan and undergo a COVID-19 test upon ending quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting from 12am on Wednesday, all travelers arriving from Brazil, including those who have transited through the country in the past 14 days, would have to stay at a centralized quarantine facility. “They will be tested for COVID-19 upon completing the 14-day quarantine, and they