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Official: Taiwan can blame itself

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-23 07:27

World Health Assembly exclusion linked to DPP's political stance

GENEVA - The head of the Chinese delegation to the 70th World Health Assembly reiterated on Sunday that the one-China principle is a prerequisite for the participation of Taiwan.

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization and sets policy for the organization. The meeting is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

At a news conference before the opening, Li Bin, head of the delegation, brushed off Taiwan's claim of an "epidemic prevention gap", which it used as a pretext for attendance.

In answering Taiwan-related questions, Li, who also heads the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said it is the Taiwan authorities - led by the Democratic Progressive Party - who impeded Taiwan's attendance at the annual assembly. She reaffirmed the cross-Straits 1992 Consensus, which centers on the one-China principle, as the prerequisite for Taiwan's participation.

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

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

According to Li, from 2009 to 2016 the central government made special arrangements for Taiwan to attend the annual assembly as an observer, under the name "Chinese Taipei", in accordance with the 1992 Consensus reached between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Since winning 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", Li said.

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

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

"The attitude of the central government 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 said 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 has also made arrangements for the application of 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 epidemic prevention and treatment, drug safety management, research and the development of traditional Chinese medicine, among other things.


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