Two US senators on Tuesday introduced a WHO accountability bill, seeking to withhold US funding until the organization reforms its leadership and accepts Taiwan as a member state.
US President Joe Biden has since his inauguration on Jan. 20 signed a flurry of executive orders, including one to stop the US’ withdrawal from the WHO, reversing former US president Donald Trump’s decision last year.
A WHO task force probing the origins of COVID-19 in China on Tuesday wrapped up its investigation with no breakthroughs, although it ruled out a theory that the novel coronavirus had escaped from a Chinese laboratory.
“The mission of the WHO is to get public health information to the world so every country can make the best decisions to keep their citizens safe. The WHO not only failed its mission, but it failed the world when it comes to the coronavirus. They served as a puppet for the Chinese Communist Party — parroting misinformation and helping communist China cover up a global pandemic,” US Senator Rick Scott, a Republican, said in a news release on Tuesday.
“Last February, I called on the WHO to do its own in-depth analysis on the extent and origins of the coronavirus. It took them nearly a year to take action and we still have no answer,” he said.
“They are complicit in communist China’s effort to isolate Taiwan. There is no reason US taxpayers should be spending hundreds of millions a year, more than any other country, to fund the WHO without significant reform,” he added.
Taiwan attended the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, as an observer from 2009 to 2016, but has since been denied access.
Scott said he is proud to introduce the bill to withhold US taxpayer dollars from the WHO “until they start actually caring about public health, stop acting like a puppet for the communist China and allow Taiwan as a member.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and other WHO leaders must be held accountable for their dereliction of duty, and the WHO should not benefit from US tax dollars again before it undertakes comprehensive reforms, US Senator Josh Hawley, also a Republican, said in the same news release.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to