Taiwan castigates WHO, says China has no right to speak on its behalf
Radiio Taiwan International
Date: May 5, 2020
By: Elena Pavlovska
Students prepare to board a coach after visiting Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry in Taipei, Taiwan, 24 August 2018 (issued on 29 August 2018). Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on 29 August that Taiwan will push for participation in the United Nations again during this year’s UN General Assembly. Taiwan will ask its diplomatic allies to speak up for Taipei during the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, to write letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and Taiwan will hold activities in New York to make its voice heard. The 73rd UN General Assembly will open in New York on 18 September 2018. Taiwan, formally called Republic of China (ROC), lost its UN seat to Communist China, or the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in 1971. With the number of its diplomatic allies dropping to 18, Taiwan is now seeking UN participaion instead of UN seat, that is, to become a UN observer so that it can attend UN events and join UN-affiliated organizations.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry on Tuesday said that China cannot represent its people on the world stage. It also urged the World Health Organization to cast off China’s control during the coronavirus pandemic.
The island has been largely excluded from involvement with the WHO due to pressure from China, which refuses to acknowledge its sovereignty.
The WHO’s principal legal officer, Steven Solomon, said on Monday that the WHO recognised the People’s Republic of China as the “one legitimate representative of China”, in keeping with United Nations policy since 1971, and that the question of Taiwan’s attendance was one for the WHO’s 194 member states.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the 1971 decision only resolved the issue of who represented China, not the issue of Taiwan, and did not grant China the power to represent Taiwan internationally: “Only the democratically-elected Taiwanese government can represent Taiwan’s 23 million people in the international community”, she said. FULL STORY]