File photo of Tsai Ing-wen . Photograph:( Reuters )
China had asked Taiwan to accept that 'it is part of China', ahead of WHO’s World Health Assembly, which gets under way online on Monday.
Taiwan's Health Minister, Chen Shih-chung has rejected China's primary condition for its participation in the World Health Organization (WHO).
China had asked Taiwan to accept that ''it is part of China'', ahead of WHO’s World Health Assembly, which gets under way online on Monday.
China's foreign ministry said on thursday that Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party refused to do this, and so the political foundation for Taiwan's WHO participation had "ceased to exist".
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei to press home Taiwan's desire to take part, Cheng said there was no way Taiwan would do this.
"I have no way to accept something which does not exist," he said, adding That taiwan would not give up efforts to attend the health assembly, even though it has not received an invitation.
While China says it has the right to represent Taiwan on the international stage, Taiwan says that only its democratically elected government can speak for the island's 23 million people.
"We can represent our own people," Taiwan Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Hsieh told the same news conference in taipei. "We hope the who can set aside political considerations, and be neutral and professional."
Non-who member Taiwan has lobbied to take part as an observer in the meeting, drawing strong objections from Beijing, which considers Taiwan to be one of its provinces.
The issue has taken on broader diplomatic significance thanks to the strong support the United States, European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are supporting Taiwan's presence despite China's warnings.
Taiwan says the coronavirus pandemic has made it more urgent than ever that it be allowed proper access to the WHO.