Spokesperson's Remarks
2020/05/13

Q: Recently, some media reported that the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver donated a batch of masks to British Columbia and expected that Canada would support Taiwan ’s “meaningful” participation in the World Health Organization. What is your comment on this?

A: Virus knows no borders. Facing this common enemy, the international community should strengthen solidarity, increase mutual trust, and deepen cooperation. It should be pointed out that the donation of protective masks by the Taiwan authorities to British Columbia is not purely for epidemic prevention, but is another conspiracy to seek independence using the virus as an excuse and challenge the bottom line of the one-China principle.

On the Taiwan region's participation in WHO activities, China's position is clear and consistent. It must be handled according to the one-China principle. There is only one China in the world, the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is part of China. The one-China principle is a basic norm governing international relations and a universal consensus of the international community, which brooks no challenge and trampling. The Taiwan region's participation in international organization activities must be resolved on the basis of the one-China principle.

From 2009 to 2016, through cross-strait consultations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus", which embodies the one-China principle,the Taiwan region had participated in the WHA as an observer under the name of "Chinese Taipei" for eight consecutive years. However, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), since taking power in Taiwan in 2016, has been entrenching itself in the secessionist position of "Taiwan independence", refused to acknowledge the "1992 Consensus", and challenged the one-China principle time and again thus undermining the political foundation for the arrangement which allows the region to participate in the WHA. The DPP should be held responsible for all the consequences.

Still, we attache great importance to the health and welfare of people in Taiwan and have made proper arrangements regarding the region's participation in international health affairs based on the one-China principle to make sure that Taiwan region can respond to any local or international public health emergencies in a timely and effective manner.

There is no impediment to the technical cooperation between the WHO and the Taiwan region. According to arrangements between China and the WHO, medical experts from Taiwan can attend WHO technical meetings and WHO experts can travel to Taiwan to conduct studies or provide assistance when such needs arise. The Taiwan region has timely access to information on global public health emergencies released by the WHO and information also flows readily and unimpeded the other way.

According to incomplete statistics, medical experts from the Taiwan region attended WHO technical meetings on 10 separate occasions involving 11 person-times. There is a contact point in Taipei under International Health Regulations(IHR).

After the outbreak of Covid-19, experts from the Taiwan region traveled to Wuhan in January on a fact-finding trip.

They were appreciative of the arrangements during the trip. The National Health Commission, attaching high importance to Taiwan compatriots' life and health, has kept the region timely updated with a view to strengthening cross-strait response to the epidemic. Information shared with the Taiwan region includes technical documents covering, among others, diagnostic and treatment solutions, prevention and control plans, guidelines on the use of medical protective gears as well as the genome sequence of the virus and how this information was obtained. With regard to Taiwan compatriots in the mainland confirmed to be infected with the virus, we've been feeding instant information to the Taiwan region, sharing latest developments and tracing close contacts. The mainland and Taiwan region have been updating each other constantly since the outbreak of the epidemic and we will continue to make arrangement for the Taiwan region, as part of China, to access information on prevention and control of the epidemic.

The DPP authorities have been engaging in political manipulation and constant hype-up over the issue of Taiwan's participation in WHO and WHA in the name of fighting the epidemic. Their real intention is very clear. They are taking advantage of the virus to seek independence. We firmly reject such futile attempt.

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