China protests at support of US and others for Taiwan at WHO

Reuters

Posted at May 20 2020 12:50 AM

China protests at support of US and others for Taiwan at WHO 1

GENEVA - The Chinese envoy to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday denounced the support shown by the United States and others to Taiwan during its annual ministerial assembly and said that was undermining the global response to the pandemic.

Taiwan lobbied hard to be included as an observer at the two-day virtual meeting and received strong support from the United States, Japan and others, but says it was not invited due to opposition from China.

"There are still a few countries determined to plead for Taiwan authorities, seriously violating relevant UN and WHO resolutions and undermining global anti-epidemic efforts," Chen Xu, the Chinese ambassador, told the virtual assembly.

"China solemnly protests and firmly opposes this behavior."

Taiwan is locked out of UN organizations such as the WHO due to the objections of China, which considers it a breakaway province with no right to the trappings of a sovereign state.

The WHO says it is bound by UN protocol, and that Taiwan can only be included in WHO meetings if the members make a decision to do so.

Several delegates protested at Taiwan's exclusion in their speeches, including senior US diplomat Howard Solomon in closing remarks as well as Haiti and Paraguay.

Shortly after the US speech, Chen dismissed the remarks as "political hype", saying: "This conduct is not acceptable."

Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, is due to say on Wednesday that the island will continue to strive to participate actively in global bodies despite the setback at the WHO.