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China lambastes Taiwan's proposed inclusion in WHA as violation of 'one China' principle

China claims its 'proper arrangements' allow Taiwan to participate in global health affairs

75th World Health Assembly.

75th World Health Assembly. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China on Monday (May 23) hit back at the nations who voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA).

Ten nations, including Paraguay, Guatemala, the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Luxembourg, and Lithuania all highlighted Taiwan’s contributions during the pandemic and stressed the significance of inclusivity in the global health community.

In response, the Chinese delegate labeled the gap in the pandemic prevention system that the countries mentioned as “complete nonsense.” The delegate added that in adherence to the one-China principle, Beijing has made “proper arrangements” for Taiwan to participate in global health affairs.

The fact that the WHA has refused to discuss Taiwan-related proposals for many years reflects a general trend within the international community, the delegate claimed. “It also shows that the one-China principle cannot be challenged.”

The delegate told countries to stop interfering with WHA processes, and politicizing health issues, and instead, focus on improving global health and hygiene.

In response to the Chinese delegate’s remarks, Barbara DeRosa-Joynt, the U.S. Department of State’s senior health advisor, pointed out that since the World Health Organization is tasked with addressing global health concerns, it is important to maintain inclusivity, “especially those with first-handed experience and effectively combating COVID-19.” Taiwan has been successful in fighting COVID-19 and has “important and potentially life-saving information and experiences” to share with the world, DeRosa-Joynt said.

“Denying Taiwan's voice, experience, and technical expertise by isolating it from the global health community in the midst of a pandemic would deny the lessons learned to other countries,” she said.

The health advisor noted that Taiwan was an observer in the WHA from 2009-2016. Given that there is no legal justification to bar Taiwan from participating as an observer, the U.S. will continue “supporting the meaningful participation of Taiwan in international fora, including the WHO,” she said.

The WHA on Monday (May 23) decided it will not include a supplemental item proposal to include Taiwan at the event, according to WHA President Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh.