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Global Times

Chinese mainland condemns Taiwan for racist attack aimed at WHO leader

Global Times

By Yang Sheng Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2020/4/10 1:02:19

Chinese mainland condemned Taiwan's separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for making racist comments online against the World Health Organization's (WHO) director-general. The Taiwan party was also accused of using COVID-19 as a political trick to undermine the one-China principle and join the WHO, which is doomed to fail, according to a spokesperson with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

The spokesperson Zhu Fenglian made the remarks on Thursday, and said the DPP authority is playing "as dirty as it could" by using the pandemic to push for separatism and even connive the party's Internet "water army" to spread racist remarks against WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the WHO will be an important international organization related to the shaping of the new world order once the pandemic ends. The US has noticed that the organization should be under its control rather than being professional and neutral, and Taiwan is playing as a "stick in the US' hand to hit the WHO."

Tedros said Wednesday he'd received death threats and racist insults while running global efforts to fight COVID-19.

"I can tell you, personal attacks that have been going on for more than two, three months. Abuse, or racist comments, calling me names, black or negro. I'm proud of being black, proud of being negro," he told reporters during a press conference call from the WHO's Geneva headquarters on Wednesday. "I don't care, to be honest ... even death threats. I don't give a damn."

Tedros was responding to a question on whether criticism from world leaders such as the US President Donald Trump in the midst of the global pandemic makes his job more difficult. Tedros commented specifically on the insults that he said came from Taiwan.

"Three months ago, this attack came from Taiwan. We need to be honest. I will be straight today. From Taiwan," he said. "And Taiwan, the 'Foreign Ministry' also, they know the campaign. They didn't disassociate themselves. They even started criticizing me in the middle of those insults and slurs, but I didn't care."

Li said the WHO is a professional organization dedicated to public health, but Taiwan has treated it as a political organization to push separatism and shake the one-China principle, so unsurprisingly it would be angry on the WHO as it cannot join the organization, even though obstacles do not stand in its way of receiving information on the pandemic from the organization.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian also defended the WHO on Thursday. Zhao said at the daily press conference that "China opposes any attempt to use the epidemic for purpose of politicization or stigmatization, and strongly condemns the personal attacks and racist words and deeds against WHO DG Tedros."

"Under the leadership of Tedros, the WHO has played an important role in assisting countries' responses to the epidemic and promoting international anti-epidemic cooperation by actively fulfilling its responsibilities and upholding an objective, science-based and unbiased stance, which has been widely recognized and highly praised by the international community. China supports the WHO in continuing to play a leading role in global anti-epidemic cooperation," Zhao said.

Those Western politicians who doubt the WHO's credibility and professionalism are self-contradictory. They follow the WHO's guidance to prevent COVID-19; meanwhile, they're reluctant to admit that the organization's scientists' suggestion of learning China' experiences is right, and they also downplayed the warnings sent from the WHO during the early stages of the pandemic. It is unfair for these same politicians to blame the WHO and China since they should be responsible for the outbreak in their countries, Li noted.

Zhao noted that since the outbreak, the DPP authorities in Taiwan have been doing everything they can to make political maneuvers and hype up Taiwan's participation in the WHO and the World Health Assembly.

"Their real intention is to seek separatism under the pretext of the pandemic. We are firmly opposed to that. Their scheme will never succeed,' he said.

Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan studies at Nankai University in Tianjin, told the Global Times that it would be dangerous if the US and other Western countries to use Taiwan or other excuses to force professional scientists to leave the WHO, as it would damage the credibility of the organization and would also be harmful to the global fight against the pandemic.

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