Vote against Taiwan at WHO shows one-China principle cannot be challenged, says Beijing

BEIJING (AA) : China on Monday said the rejection of the proposal inviting Taiwan to the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) “fully” shows that the one-China principle “cannot be challenged.”

According to China’s Foreign Ministry, the self-ruled island nation’s diplomatic allies had moved the proposal at the World Health Organization to include Taiwan in the WHA.

China, which considers Taiwan as its “breakaway province,” has blocked the island nation from attending the WHA since 2017.

WHO countries Monday debated whether Taiwan should attend the WHA as an observer. The proposal was rejected.

Ahead of the vote, Taiwan’s health minister warned on Sunday that the continued exclusion of the island from the WHO due to China’s actions threatens global health.

“Excluding Taiwan from the WHO not only jeopardizes the right to health of the 23.5 million people of Taiwan, it also seriously undermines the WHO’s efforts to achieve health for all” and hinders the global sharing of information, Hsueh Jui-yuan had said at the Geneva Press Club.

Notably, early this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraged the WHO to invite Taiwan as an observer to the WHA annual meeting in Geneva.

Without naming anyone, Beijing blamed “certain countries either overtly or covertly” which “encouraged and supported this move.”

“These egregious moves go against the trend of history and deliberately undermine international rules,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a statement.

Slamming Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for the failed proposal, Beijing said: “They have been unanimously rejected by countries taking a just stand.”

It added nearly 100 UN-member nations had sent letters to the WHO or issued statements to express their commitment to the one-China principle and opposition to Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.

Rejection at the WHO, however, did not despair Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who thanked the island nation’s “partners” for their support.

“Taiwan has become a keyword across the world thanks to growing support. We’re grateful to our partners for supporting our WHA participation,” Tsai said on Twitter.

The island nation’s president also thanked the G-7 member nations “for emphasizing the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

The G-7 met in Japan for a three-day summit which concluded on Sunday, reiterating support for the status quo in Taiwan Strait.