Pan-green lawmakers yesterday urged the National Security Bureau to launch an investigation into the source from which Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Policy Committee Director Alex Tsai (蔡正元) obtained prior information regarding the “one China” proviso attached to Taiwan’s invitation to the annual World Health Assembly (WHA), expressing concern over the possibility of an information leak.
During a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) questioned government officials on who notified Tsai about the WHO’s plan to send a WHA invitation to Taiwan mentioning the “one China” principle.
“When did your respective agencies learn that the WHO is to issue an invitation that comes with a ‘one China’ proviso?” Wang asked, to which Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Javier Hou (侯清山), Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Shih Hui-fen (施惠芬) and National Security Bureau deputy head Chou Mei-wu (周美伍) answered some time between 5pm and 6pm on Friday.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Office of International Cooperation official Hsu Ming-hui (許明暉) said his ministry received the information at about 7pm on the same day.
“Which one of you notified Tsai? How come the director of a political party’s central policy committee was able to obtain the information beforehand and publish it on Facebook at 5:38pm that day? Which one of you leaked the information?” Wang asked.
Wang said the only possible explanation was either the Presidential Office notified the KMT after it received information from the government agencies, or that Beijing decided to give its “old buddy” a heads-up to teach Taipei a lesson.
This is something similar to funds being channeled to party coffers from the national treasury, Wang said, urging the bureau to look into the matter.
The WHA invitation in question, addressed to Minister of Health and Welfare Chiang Been-huang (蔣丙煌), was issued by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (陳馮富珍) on Friday, in which Chan invited “Chinese Taipei” to send a delegation to attend the 69th WHA as an observer. The assembly is to meet from May 23 to May 28 in Geneva.
The invitation, of which a hard copy arrived at the health ministry yesterday, recalls UN Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1, and mentions the “one China” principle.
UN Resolution 2758, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1971, recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only lawful representative of China to the UN, while WHA Resolution 25.1, adopted at the 25th WHA in 1972, expelled the Republic of China from the WHO.
New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) also pressed concerned government officials on the issue, saying it is beyond comprehension that news about the WHA invitation was first made public by a high-level cadre of a political party.
“[I was astonished by] how such a significant piece of information was not announced by the government or did not reach the incoming DPP administration at the earliest moment,” Hsu said.
Hsu said the delayed receipt of information by the government allowed individuals with vested interests to steer the direction of how the event might evolve and to manipulate public opinion.
It almost led to a showdown between the pan-blue and pan-green camps and created unnecessary chaos in society, Hsu added.
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