US rhetoric about Taiwan is nonsense: China Daily editorial
By trying to make an issue of the status of Taiwan with regard to the World Health Organization in its latest report, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission is trying to kill two birds with one stone.
The first is to find fault with the Chinese mainland and give the rest of the world the impression that the mainland is bullying Taiwan. The second is to reassure the secessionists on the island that they have US support.
Taiwan claims that the Chinese mainland and the WHO have conspired for political purposes to lock it out of key meetings of the WHO and this politically motivated exclusion of the island has compromised global health. The US report tries to back these claims by contending that lives have been lost because of WHO's exclusion of Taiwan.
This is all nonsense.
It is Taiwan and the US that are using the WHO for political purposes, as the island's administration, with the backing of the US, is lobbying to be allowed access as an observer to next week's meeting of the WHO's decision-making body, the World Health Assembly.
What the report is trying to do is muddy the facts. It claims that had the WHO allowed Taiwan's health experts to share information and best practices in early January, governments around the world could have had more complete information on which to base their public health policies. Yet delegations of experts from Taiwan and Hong Kong and Macao arrived in Wuhan on Jan 13 to evaluate the situation first hand, and the Chinese mainland had already began regularly informing the WHO, other countries and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan about the pneumonia outbreak from Jan 3.
The United States and other countries still had the time to assess their own situations while China was engaged in the height of its battle against the virus.
It is not WHO's status as an observer that Tsai Ing-wen, her Democratic Progressive Party and their US backers are really after, rather it is the political implications of that status as a step toward de facto recognition of the island's "independence" that they are eyeing.
As only sovereign nations can be members of the world health body, Taiwan is ineligible to have that status. The Chinese mainland agreed a special arrangement with the WHO which allowed the island to previously attend the WHA as an observer based on the then Taiwan administration's upholding of the one-China principle. But Tsai refuses to accept the consensus on one China and is trying to use every trick in the book to portray the island as an independent state.
Taiwan has been given all the help it needs for prevention and control of the pandemic, and the world was kept informed of developments on the mainland. The association the US is seeking to establish between the exclusion of the island from the WHO and the world's fight against the virus is contrived and preposterous.