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Chinese delegation repeats one-China principle as prerequisite for Taiwan's WHA attendance

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-22 12:56

GENEVA -- The Chinese delegation to the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) on Sunday reiterated that the one-China principle is the prerequisite for the participation of China's Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO)'s annual conference.

During a press conference held one day ahead of the WHA opening, it also refuted the existence of an "epidemic prevention gap" claimed by Taiwan.

In answering Taiwan-related questions, Li Bin, head of the Chinese delegation and minister of national health and family planning commission, said that it is the Taiwan authorities led now by the local Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that has set the barrier to Taiwan's WHA attendance. She reaffirmed the cross-Straits "1992 consensus" centered on the one-China principle as the prerequisite for Taiwan's participation.

The DPP "refused to recognize that the two sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one China. By so doing, it undermined the political basis of the cross-Straits relations, and brought the cross-Straits contact and communication mechanism to a standstill," Li said.

As a result, she noted, the political basis of Taiwan's participation in the annual conference of the global health body has ceased to exist.

According to her, from 2009 to 2016, the central government of China made special arrangements for Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer in the name of "Chinese Taipei" in accordance with the "1992 consensus" reached between Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

However, since it won the local election in Taiwan last year, the DPP's stand has made it "impossible to carry out any cross-Straits consultations for the special arrangements anymore," said Li.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a United Nations specialized agency. UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1 provide the legal basis for the WHO to follow the one-China principle, Li noted.

Li also reiterated the stand of China's central government on safeguarding Taiwan's public health interests.

"The attitude of the central government of China in addressing the health issues of interest to Taiwan compatriots is sincere and earnest, and the active measures taken are practical and effective," she said.

Li noted that proper arrangements have been made for Taiwan to participate in global health affairs and to conduct exchanges on epidemics and other health issues with WHO medical and public health experts.

Through consultations with the WHO, the central government of China has also made proper arrangements for the application of the International Health Regulations in Taiwan, she said, adding that Taiwan "can access the information on public health emergencies released by the WHO, so the so-called 'epidemic prevention gap' doesn't exist at all."

In addition, Li said, there have been cross-Straits deals and exchanges conducted on the basis of the "1992 consensus" in medical and public health fields, including epidemics prevention and treatment, drug safety management and research, and traditional Chinese medicine development, with cooperation mechanisms built on emergency medical treatment and responses to public health emergencies, among others.

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