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Taiwan slams China's unilateral port inclusion

Taiwan slams China's unilateral port inclusion

China's unilateral inclusion of Taiwanese ports into its IHR-certified port list would only expose its inability to fulfill its duty under the International Health Regulations, according to a Taiwan official posted in Geneva.
Shen Lyu-hsun, director of the Taipei Cultural and Economic Office in Geneva, made the remarks after Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs decried Friday over the recent posting of China's wrongly arranged IHR-certified port list on the World Health Organization Web site.
According to Shen, Taiwan has on many occasions expressed its stance on the issue. None of Beijing's unilateral moves that undermine Taiwan's sovereign status and legitimate rights and interests will be acceptable or recognized by Taiwan, he added,
Noting that the port listing issue is yet another example of China's relentless political suppression against Taiwan on the world stage, Shen said China's incluion of Taiwanese ports in its IHR port list is totally unfounded.
The WHO-sponsored IHR 2005 lays out a new legal framework for the global community to better manage its collective defenses against acute public health risks that can spread internationally and have devastating impacts on human health as well as unnecessary negative interference on trade and travel. It requires all signatories to report and address public health emergencies of international concern.
Although Taiwan is neither a WHO member nor an IHR signatory, it already voluntarily declared its commitment to abiding by relevant regulations in May 2006. After the IHR took effect June 15, 2007, Taiwan again informed the WHO Secretariat, WHO member countries' representative offices in Geneva and international media outlets of Taiwan's determination to observe IHR provisions and China's illegitimacy and inability to represent Taiwan in IHR enforcement.
Since the unveiling of the IHR 2005, Shen said Taiwan has issued 166 port health certificates in accordance with IHR provisions, proving that China has no rights and is incapable of representing Taiwan in implementing the IHR regulations.
In Taipei, MOFA officials said the ministry has ordered its representative office in Geneva to lodge astrong protest with the WHO over its wrong placement of several Taiwanese ports on a list of certified ports in China.
Noting that such a move will not only affect the Taiwan people's rights but could also cause confusion and difficulty for international merchant shipping and maritime transport operators, MOFA acting spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh said the MOFA will seek the assistance of major countries around the world to push the WHO to correct the issue as soon as possible.