Saturday, September 18, 2021

US Senate approves bill to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the WHO, China rejects the move

China has rejected the US Senate’s approval of a bill to help Taiwan regain WHO observer status.

 

On August 6, the US Senate passed a bill to “direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization”. Chinese FM Spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Thursday that it is totally a political manipulation by some anti-China politicians. China deplores & firmly rejects the move, and has lodged solemn representations with the US side, she said.

China urges the US to fully recognize the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, abide by the one-China principle & the three China-US joint communiqués, stop helping the Taiwan region expand ” international space” and sending any wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” forces, Hua said.

U.S. can’t include Taiwan in WHO unilaterally, since the decision has to be made by the WHO’s member states. In 2009, China agreed to let Taiwan hold “observer status” at the WHO for the first time, which allowed it unofficial roles such as participating in meetings, even though it still did not hold an actual vote. In 2017, after increasing tensions, China revoked Taiwan’s observer status. Since 2017, Taiwan has not participated in a World Health Assembly as an observer country. It does, however, still have points of contact at the WHO and receives communication from the WHO.

China takes Taiwan as highly sensitive matter. It has been battling an increasing diplomatic pressure over Taiwan in recent times as the self-ruled island increases its diplomatic outreach amid China’s aggressive foreign policy which has put it on a path of clash with the USA and other western countries. Days ago, Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in capital Vilnius in the name of “Taiwan” which riled China, after pulling out of China’s 17+1 initiative to engage with Central and Eastern European countries. Lithuania getting support from US and EU on Taiwan move has rattled China more which is worried about the “domino effect” among other EU nation

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