Xinhua Commentary: One-China principle only path for Taiwan to join WHA
File photo of Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council. /CFP

By Xinhua writer Wu Xia

BEIJING (Xinhua) — Once again and as expected, the plot to let Taiwan join the World Health Assembly (WHA) was rejected late Monday.  It is the fifth consecutive year that such a politically-motivated attempt has been defeated. The scheme is purely political, and has nothing to do with humanitarian concerns. Those handful of countries that sponsored the plot knew their plan is highly unpopular, and would go nowhere. Yet they insisted on pushing it. That demonstrates their stubborn intention to undermine the one-China principle, hijack the global health body and disrupt the world’s pressing discussions on bridging the widening global vaccination gap and ending the raging pandemic at an early date.

The WHA’s decision testifies to a broad, unambiguous and strong consensus of the international community to support the one-China principle. Ahead of the WHA’s opening, more than 150 countries have expressed through diplomatic channels support for the one-China principle and objection to inviting Taiwan to the WHA. The one-China principle has long been an international norm and a consensus of the global community. Meanwhile, it is an open secret that Washington has long been using Taiwan as a political pawn to contain China. Taiwan is part of China. The Chinese island province’s participation in the activities of international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), must be handled in line with the one-China principle, as it concerns China’s core interests. Beijing will not compromise in this regard.

Taiwan’s political farce seeking participation in the WHA will not fool the world. And it is ridiculous to portray Taiwan as a missing link in the world’s anti-pandemic system. To help the anti-pandemic fight on the island, Beijing has shared information with Taiwan 260 times on epidemic development and approved multiple times the participation of health experts from Taiwan in WHO technical activities. What has to be made clear is that it is the Taiwan authorities themselves that have ruined the island’s opportunity to join the WHA. Before 2016, Taiwan was able to participate in the WHA under a special arrangement made through cross-Strait consultations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus that embodies the one-China principle upheld by both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

However, since coming to power in 2016, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the island has refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus and has been pivoting away from the one-China principle in pursuit of its secessionist agenda. Those moves have damaged the political basis for Taiwan’s involvement in WHO activities. At present, while the pandemic continues to plague Taiwan, the DPP is still dreaming about creating “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan,” instead of focusing on battling the deadly pathogen and saving lives. It should feel ashamed and guilty. Those separatist forces on the island should wake up from their “dream of independence,” and wake up fast. The key to reopening Taiwan’s door to the WHA is abiding by the one-China principle, and refusal to recognize the principle will only lead to a dead end.


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