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Global Times

Tsai's WHO call 'repetitive manipulation'

Global Times

By Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/3 0:38:39

Observers in the Chinese mainland said that Tsai Ing-wen's "repetitive" political manipulation is doomed to fail, after the Taiwan regional leader cried out for Taiwan to join the World Health Organization (WHO) but snubbed the mainland regarding medical cooperation and banned mask exports amid the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

Tsai made her voice public on Twitter since Thursday, saying that "we hope that the WHO will not exclude Taiwan for political reasons," and "Taiwan's absence from the WHO creates a serious gap in the global network."

According to reports, Tsai's comments received support from certain anti-China politicians such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in the US, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In a reply to an email from the WHO to the Global Times on Sunday, the organization denied that Taiwan was excluded from the world health network which was indicated by Tsai, saying the organization is collaborating closely with Taiwan authorities through the International Health Regulations (IHR) mechanism in response to the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

Experts from Taiwan were involved in all of the WHO's consultations - clinical networks, laboratory networks, and other multiple health fronts - so they are fully engaged and aware of all of the developments in the expert networks, the WHO told Global Times in the email, noting that throughout 2019, experts from Taiwan were invited to attend WHO technical meetings.

The island of Taiwan is ineligible to join the WHO in any way, as the organization under the UN only allows participation from sovereign states, and Taiwan is regarded as part of China, said a Beijing-based political commentator who requested anonymity.

The commentator called Taiwan's trickery as repetitive which was doomed to fail, as the secessionist stance of Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is unwelcome to the world.

Tsai also drew criticism inside the island after her administration imposed a ban on mask exports to the mainland amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. Some said Taiwan authorities should show more empathy.

Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan's former leader, said on Friday through a Facebook post that Tsai's government should "put off political calculations," and be duty-bound to assist the mainland in controlling the coronavirus, which would also benefit Taiwan residents.

According to Ma, the Chinese mainland and the island of Taiwan have signed a cooperation agreement in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases a decade ago, during Ma's tenure.

During the 2009 to 2016 period, Taiwan participated in the World Health Assembly(WHA) as an observer under the name of "Chinese Taipei" for eight consecutive years, until Tsai replaced Ma in 2016.

The expert said that this shows the importance of adhering to the "one-China principle." If not, Taiwan will be abandoned by the international community.

"From the case of the mask ban we can see the irresponsibility of Taiwan authorities. They don't lack medical information or international cooperation, what they want is to create antagonism across the Taiwan Straits and expand its 'international space,'" said the expert, noting that the same trick was used in the 2003 SARS epidemic.

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