The Shunning Of a State – Chen Shui-bian

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has written an op-ed in the Washington Post about Taiwan’s failure to gain member status in the due to a secret memorandum signed between the WHO and China:

Taiwan is not a member of the WHO, nor is it an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA) — unlike the Palestinian Authority or the Malta Order of Chivalry. But under mounting international pressure prompted by fear of an avian flu pandemic, China was persuaded in 2005 to consent, in principle, to Taiwan’s meaningful participation in WHO conferences focusing on that threat. China conceded after demanding that the WHO secretariat sign a secret memorandum of understanding. As a result, Taiwan’s participation in the WHO is subject to China’s approval, even for technical meetings. Such participation is minimal rather than meaningful.

It is improper and unprecedented for an international humanitarian organization to enter into a secret pact with one of its member states, especially an authoritarian one. More important, the memorandum has been used to obstruct Taiwan’s participation in WHO activities. [Full text]

Read also the PRC representative’s statement to the World Health Assembly on Taiwan’s status from 2005.

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