Tsai should not hi­jack the WHA is­sue for po­lit­i­cal end

China Daily - - COMMENT -

This year’s World Health As­sem­bly will be held in Geneva from May 21 to 26. And for the sec­ond year run­ning, Tai­wan will not at­tend. As the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion con­firmed on Tues­day, the pre­vi­ous in­vi­ta­tions ex­tended to the is­land from 2009 to 2016 were a spe­cial ar­range­ment based on a cross-Straits un­der­stand­ing that al­lowed the is­land to at­tend as an ob­server.

But this ar­range­ment was based on the is­land’s pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion up­hold­ing the 1992 Con­sen­sus that there is only one China.

This es­sen­tial foun­da­tion for the ar­range­ment is now nonex­is­tent thanks to Tsai Ing-wen and her pro-in­de­pen­dence Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party’s re­fusal to ac­knowl­edge the con­sen­sus.

That is the rea­son for the is­land’s nonat­ten­dance at this year’s WHA, and the Tsai ad­min­is­tra­tion should shoul­der the blame.

But like it did last year, the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion on the is­land has again tried to play up a sense of vic­tim­hood, claim­ing that its ex­clu­sion from the WHA puts the is­land’s 23 mil­lion res­i­dents’ health at risk.

But as WHO has clar­i­fied pre­vi­ously, ex­perts from the is­land reg­u­larly at­tend WHO tech­ni­cal meet­ings and it is in con­tact with the is­land’s health au­thor­ity.

In fact, it is the Tsai ad­min­is­tra­tion that is hi­jack­ing pub­lic health on the is­land to serve its po­lit­i­cal end. It hopes that by play­ing on the heart­strings of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, it will be able to nudge its way into the WHA.

And the rea­son why the is­land wants to worm its way into the WHA is so it can claim it has the sta­tus of an in­de­pen­dent na­tion. As the main meet­ing of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, an af­fil­i­ated agency of the United Na­tions, WHA par­tic­i­pa­tion re­quires state­hood.

The DPP per­sists in try­ing such tricks, be­cause it knows the main­land has the firm will and suf­fi­cient ca­pa­bil­i­ties to block any moves they might make to­ward for­mal in­de­pen­dence. How­ever, such ruses are both fool­ish and fu­tile.

The Tsai ad­min­is­tra­tion should re­flect on the is­land's ab­sence from the WHA again this year, and rec­og­nize that the only way for the is­land to ex­pand its in­ter­na­tional space is to rec­og­nize the one-China prin­ci­ple, the cor­ner­stone of crossS­traits re­la­tions.

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