WHA hints at 'further developments' after snubbing Taiwan

Taiwan's information exchange channels with the United Nations health body are smooth, Taiwan can attend technical WHO meetings and if needed its experts can visit the island, An said.

Taiwan is pushing for a last-minute invitation to a World Health Organization summit amid rising pressure from Beijing to isolate the island.

The United States "recognizes Taiwan's continued leadership on global health issues" and "continues to strongly support Taiwan's participation as an observer" at World Health Assembly meetings, a USA official said on Tuesday.

China views democratic Taiwan as a renegade province to be taken back with the use of force, if necessary, and other countries and global organisations should not recognise it or treat as a separate country. China claims sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan and wants the two sides to unify.

China reiterated its demand that Taiwan must accept the "one China" principle and blamed Tsai's traditionally pro- independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for the WHA snub.

Then President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT), which favors better ties with the mainland, took office, and from 2009 onwards China allowed Taiwan to observe at the WHA.

Under the "One China" principle, Beijing considers Taiwana rogue province of the people's republic.

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A Chinese government delegation this month objected to a Taiwan delegation attending a meeting in Australia on conflict diamonds, forcing the removal of the Taiwan delegates.

In Geneva, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said "the one-China policy is a United Nations -wide accepted policy", but the matter about Taiwan's participation was not yet resolved although invitations had been sent.

"Officially the deadline has passed but yet it is my understanding that the discussions are still ongoing and we are also on our side waiting for any developments".

"We feel Taiwan's participation in the WHO in some form is desirable in order to strengthen [the world's] response to dangers to public health", Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular press briefing in Tokyo, according to the South China Morning Post.

In a derisive editorial Tuesday, the state-owned China Daily said the Taiwanese delegation would likely "make a scene" in Geneva, "and try everything possible to convey the message that Taiwan 'is being bullied, ' and public health on the island is being put in jeopardy".

"The DPP has damaged the joint political basis of cross- strait relations, so the precondition for Taiwan to attend no longer exists", China's Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement yesterday.

The statement was made by the WHA's spokesman Christian Lindmeier in an e-mail to Central News Agency.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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