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.
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