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China must respect Taiwanese people's desire: mainland affairs chief

Taipei, March 12 (CNA) It is a common desire of the Taiwanese people to have a role in international organizations and China should face up to this fact, Taiwan's top China-policy planner said Thursday.
Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan said during a legislative session that China should not block Taiwan's efforts to participate in international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) as such efforts are the common wish of all 23 million Taiwanese people.
Lai also urged China not to obstruct Taiwan's bid to participate this May as an observer in the World Health Assembly (WHA) , the executive arm of the WHO.
The government will continue to fight for Taiwan's right to be part of the WHA and other international organizations' mechanisms and activities, she added.
Taiwan's repeated efforts since 1997 to join the WHA as an observer have failed mainly because of China's objections. Taiwan changed its strategy in 2007, applying for membership using the name "Taiwan," but that attempt was also blocked by Beijing.
However, during an interview on March 11 with China Central Television, director of China's State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, Wang Yi, said that the Chinese government is "prudently optimistic" about the issue.
Chinese president Hu Jintao said on Dec. 31, 2008 that Beijing was willing to negotiate with Taipei on Taiwan's participation in international organizations as long as this will not leave the impression that there are "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan." (By Luis Yu)

Updated : 2021-05-14 16:10 GMT+08:00