China sends secret WHO letter to counter Taiwan

European countries could postpone issue of Taiwan's attendance at WHA, according to Foreign Policy magazine

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China reportedly sends letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 

China reportedly sends letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China sent a secret letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) to counter the momentum in favor of Taiwan being allowed to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA), Foreign Policy reported Friday (May 15).

As the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, Taiwan’s case to attend the May 18-19 WHA video conference as an observer has been gaining support beyond its core allies. In a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, China claims Taiwan’s status is a “controversial” issue and should therefore not be considered, according to Foreign Policy.

The message claims the Taiwan government, which it describes as “the local authorities,” “bar themselves from participating in WHA by refusing to accept the one-China principle.” The communist country said delegations at the conference should not be “distracted by political manipulation,” Foreign Policy reported.

The message said Beijing was ready to cooperate with Tedros to “prevent the Assembly from being disrupted.” Tedros has repeatedly come under fire for caving in to Beijing’s demands, including changing the name of the virus to COVID-19 to remove any references to China, and delaying the labeling of the outbreak as a pandemic.

European nations were reportedly willing not to discuss Taiwan at the WHA, but would instead postpone the issue until fall this year, according to Foreign Policy.