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Taipei's illusion of joining WHA shattered again: Editorial flash

Source: 2023-05-24

Chinese and US flags flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing. [Photo/Agencies]

Before the ongoing 76th World Health Assembly opened in Geneva on May 21, about 140 member states expressed their objection to Taiwan joining the WHA, with around 100 issuing open statements or sending letters to its director-general stressing the issue.

Which, as well as the WHA's refusal to even list the move into discussion on May 22, best explains the international community's commitment to adhering to the one-China principle. Supported by certain Western powers, Taiwan has more than once applied to join the WHA as an observer, but all its move have failed.

There was a time when Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer from 2009 to 2016 when the ruling Kuomintang recognized the 1992 Consensus and cross-Strait relationship warmed up. It was Tsai Ing-wen and her independence-minded Democratic Progressive Party that refused the consensus, thus ruining the political basis of Taiwan's participation.

Notably, the central government has never forgotten Taiwan in the past three years of fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as it expressed willingness to supply vaccines to the 23 million residents there. It was also the ruling DPP that refused for political consideration.

In a statement published on its website on May 18, the US Department of State said Washington will continue to support Taiwan's participation in international organizations where statehood is not required, in line with their one-China policy.

But its actions have exposed how it has been playing word games and suffered seven consecutive failures.

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