China today applauded the World Health Organisation for rejecting a proposal for admitting Taiwan at its annual meeting, saying the move shows that the one-China principle is supported by the international community. “The decision defended the dignity of the UN General Assembly and the World Health Assembly resolutions, and showed the one-China principle is supported by the international community,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told media here. Self-governing Taiwan was invited to attend the WHO’s main annual meeting as an observer every year since 2009, but this year it did not receive an invitation. Representatives from 11 of the WHO’s 194 member countries, including Nicaragua, Paraguay and Belize, put forth a proposal yesterday — the first day of the assembly — to put offering Taiwan permanent observer status onto the agenda.
But the assembly decided without a vote to reject the proposal, leaving the issue off the agenda. China claims the breakaway province of Taiwan to be part of the mainland. The Chinese central government wants the issue of Taiwan’s participation in events held by international organisations to be properly handled in accordance with the one-China principle and via cross-Strait negotiations, Hua told a daily press briefing. From 2009 to 2016, the central government made arrangements for Taiwan to attend the assembly as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei”, in accordance with the “1992 consensus” reached between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, state-run Xinhua quoted Li Bin, head of both the Chinese delegation to the assembly and the National Health and Family Planning Commission as saying.
However, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party has refused to recognise the one-China principle, which has undermined the political basis of Taiwan’s participation in WHO’s annual conference, Li said. Taiwan’s relations with China have become increasingly frosty since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power almost a year ago and China has sought to block the island from a string of international events.