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Global Times

Proposal for Taiwan to attend WHA aims to disturb assembly: FM

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/14 19:18:41

China strongly opposes some countries' proposals to allow Taiwan island to attend this year's World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer, as such proposals aim to disturb WHA procedures and damage international cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson stressed on Thursday.

The remarks were made when spokesperson Zhao Lijian was asked for a response to moves of some countries including Swaziland and Nicaragua, which proposed to the World Health Organization that the island of Taiwan should attend this year's WHA as an observer.

The island's participation in the assembly should be carried out according to the one-China principle, Zhao said.

Zhao clarified that the island's observer status from 2009-2016 was based on communication between the two sides across the Straits and agreement of all WHO members. However, after the Democratic Progressive Party took office on the island, they stubbornly insist on Taiwan independence, thus the political basis for Taiwan's observer status had diminished.

He noted that the Chinese central government has made proper arrangements for the island's participation in global public health issues to make sure it can timely respond to public health emergencies happening within the island or around the world.

There is no such problem with Taiwan being left as a loophole in the global anti-pandemic battle, Zhao stresses.

The World Health Assembly is scheduled to take place from May 18-19 via online teleconferencing. The assembly's convening period is largely shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will touch upon critical topics including the pandemic situation and committee elections, according to Zhao.

Swaziland and Nicaragua are two of several remaining countries that keep "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan island, according to the island government's website.

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