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Taiwan blames China for WHO invite snub

15 Mai 2017

Taiwan accused Beijing of creating the obstacles.

"We will never succumb to Beijing's pressure, but will continue to make our voice heard in the global community, and fight for our right to participate in the WHA and other worldwide organizations", said the government's mainland affairs council, which deals with relations across the Taiwan Strait.

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

The island was expelled from the World Health Organization in 1972, a year after losing the "China" seat at the United Nations to Beijing. The 2999 WHA was the first time Taiwan was able to participate in a meeting of a specialized United Nations agency since it lost the "China" seat at the Beijing in 1971.

Taiwan-UN Alliance president Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said the government's efforts to seek WHA participation was "too little, too late", adding that President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) goal of maintaining the cross-strait "status quo" should not compromise national interest or sovereignty.

Ties between mainland China and Taiwan have worsened since the election a year ago of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party who - unlike the island's previous mainland-friendly administration - has not acknowledged the "one China" principle. Belonging to the independence-leaning Democratic Progress Party, Tsai hasn't acknowledged the so called "1992 Consensus", which states there is only "one-China" with both sides free to interpret what that means.

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.

Taiwan's President Tsai has thrown her support behind the push, making Taiwan's case in posts on her Twitter account.

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During a general session in January of the World Health Organization executive board, which decided the agenda of this month's WHA meeting, Taiwan could have, but did not, seek the help of its diplomatic allies or friendly countries to ensure its participation in the WHA, he said.

Joining the US and Canada, Japan expressed Tuesday its support for the island to continue taking part in the WHA as an observer.

But the health of people in Taiwan and the island's lack of attendance at the meeting are two different matters, An Fengshan, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a regular news briefing.

Tsai has said she wants peace with China, but has not conceded to Beijing's "one China" principle, which recognizes Taiwan is a part of China.

Geng noted that "most countries around the world" support China's stance, and it was "useless [for Taiwan] to court foreign support".

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".

Taiwan blames China for WHO invite snub