Chinese envoy: WHO’s rejection proves ‘Taiwan independence’ a dead end

Delegates attend the opening day of the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, May 27, 2024. /CFP

Delegates attend the opening day of the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, May 27, 2024. /CFP

A Chinese envoy to the United Nations said the World Health Organization’s decision not to invite Taiwan region to the organization’s annual assembly in Geneva proves that seeking “Taiwan independence” is a dead end and any move to undermine the one-China principle is doomed a failure.

The World Health Assembly (WHA), the highest decision-making body of the WHO, decided on Monday not to include in its agenda a proposal on Taiwan region’s participation in the annual assembly as an observer. This is the eighth consecutive year that the WHA has rejected the Taiwan-related proposal.

Chen Xu, permanent representative of China to the UN Office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, said in a statement on Monday that China’s position on Taiwan region’s participation in the WHA is consistent and clear. The issue must be handled under the one-China principle, which is also a fundamental principle endorsed in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1.

The Democratic Progressive Party authorities have stubbornly stuck to the separatist position of “Taiwan independence,” so that the political basis for the Taiwan region’s participation in the assembly no longer exists, he said.

Chen pointed out that the Chinese central government has made proper arrangements for the Taiwan region’s participation in global health affairs under the one-China principle.

There is an International Health Regulations Contact Point in the Taiwan region for it to smoothly access health information from the WHO, and health experts from the Taiwan region can also participate in WHO technical activities in their personal capacities. The past year saw the participation of 21 batches of health experts from the Taiwan region, according to Chen.

Chen emphasized that a vast majority of countries in the international community have reaffirmed their commitment to UNGA Resolution 2758, firmly supporting the one-China principle and opposing Taiwan region’s participation in the WHA.

UNGA Resolution 2758 was passed on October 25, 1971, with an overwhelming majority deciding to restore the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the UN and to recognize the representatives of the PRC government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the UN.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, reiterated on Thursday that Taiwan is a province of China, saying the UN abides by the relevant resolution adopted at the UNGA in 1971, during a press briefing.