China has explained her role in the blockade of Taiwan from attending recently held World Health Assembly.
A statement from the spokesman of Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Zhang Hang said China could have unilaterally block Taiwan from attending the United Nations organized function, insisting that the decision was taking by over 80 countries.
Zhang said the decision was taken by allies of China across the world who believe in a United China which include Taiwan.
Zhang, in the statement said: “I was caught by surprise to read in a local newspaper an article entitled “Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly undermines global health” by Her Excellency Mary Beth Leonard, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, indicating China wrongfully blocked Taiwan from participating at the WHA.”
He said Nigerians and everyone else across the globe should be interested in what actually happened.
He said: “On May 24, The General Committee and the Plenary session of the 74th WHA respectively decided to reject the so-called proposal of “inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer” submitted by certain countries. Can China succeed in doing this alone? No, actually among 194 members of World Health Organization, more than 150 countries, including Nigeria voiced their support for China, and more than 80 countries sent letters to WHO to express their commitment to the one-China principle and opposition to Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.”
He asked: “Were all these countries wrong? Absolutely not.”
Zhang said: “WHO is an international organization only sovereign country can join. Taiwan is not a sovereign country, it is an inalienable part of China. The Resolution 2758 of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in October 1971 and the Resolution 25.1 of WHA in May 1972 had already provided the legal basis for the WHO to abide by the one-China principle, and recognized Taiwan as part of China.”
He further said: “One-China principle is an international consensus and adhered by 180 countries including the U.S.A..
Taiwan region’s participation in the WHA must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle and through cross-strait consultations. The incumbent authorities in the Taiwan region since 2016 obstinately adhered to the separatist position of “Taiwan independence” and refused to recognize that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. As a result, the political foundation for the Taiwan region to participate in WHA has ceased to exist.”
Zhang added that: “Based on the one-China principle, the Central Government of China has made appropriate arrangements for the Taiwan region’s participation in global health affairs. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Central Government of China has sent 260 notifications on COVID-19 to Taiwan region. Health experts in Taiwan region have participated in 16 WHO technical activities.
“The WHO Secretariat briefed health experts in Taiwan region several times on pandemic information. The so-called “international epidemic prevention gap” does not exist, nor do experts of Taiwan region lack channels and platforms to share response and control practices with others.”
He however said as COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage globally, it is high time for responsible international community members to show solidarity, instead of politicizing health issues and interfering with other countries’ internal affairs.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja