Coronavirus, the Chinese veto that keeps Taiwan out of WHO jobs. Beijing: “They instrumentalize the pandemic for political purposes only”



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taiwan is at the center of the international debate on relations betweenWorld Health Organization and the China. At stake are the long clash over the autonomy of Taipei from Beijing, the Chinese veto which prevents the government of the Asian island from participating in the assemblies of the UN agency and the accusations against theWHO from the most critical countries, United States in the head, to have covered up the reports on the transmission of the virus from man to man that Taiwan would send to the organization as early as December. Relationships so privileged, those between China and the WHO, to convince the top management of the organization to hide, critics, errors and delays continue Chinese Communist Party in spreading information about the virus. A political exploitation of the pandemic aimed at allowing Taiwan to return to the organization, the president’s men respond instead Xi Jinping, and destabilize the Asian giant by rekindling the war between Beijing and Taipei on autonomy.


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Coronavirus, the accusations against the WHO. From the pandemic declared with 100 countries interested in the use of masks: “Healthy people don’t need it”

The clash, the public one, returns forcefully in mid-April. A few days earlier, the general manager of the organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, accused Taiwan of calling it several times “Negro”. An exit that betrays the tension within the UN Agency for the debate, which has lasted for decades, on Taipei’s participation in theWHO assembly, always hampered by China which is a permanent member, and therefore with a veto, of the United Nations. But it is the response of the government of the small island that triggers the international debate: after some rumors published in March by Wall Street Journal, which cited executive sources, Taiwan says it warned the Ghebreyesus-led organization of the human-to-human transmission of the virus as early as December, while the announcement of China and WHO will arrive only on January 21. Version denied by the organization. The only communication from Taiwan, says WHO, was an email dated December 31 in which they mentioned “cases of atypical pneumonia to Wuhan which the local authorities did not believe to be Sars. In this email there was no mention of transmission from man to man. ”


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One of the most emblematic examples of the difficulty within the WHO to manage relations between Member States, especially the Chinese pressures on Taiwan, is an interview made in March by the public TV channel of Hong Kong RTHK in which the journalist Yvonne Tong interview Bruce Aylward, head of the organization’s mission in China, asking the doctor if there was no need to reassess the country’s admission as a member of the UN Agency, also considering the excellent results obtained in contrasting the spread of the virus. In response, Aylward drops the call Skype and, contacted, refuses to answer the question by interrupting the interview.

Meanwhile, China takes sides in defense of Ghebreyesus, who is also accused of being closely linked with the leaders of the People’s Republic because of his political background, and he replies that Taiwan is nothing more than an attempt to “use the pandemic for politicization and stigma”.

But the war with a bang and response in the international media has now begun and soon involves all the WHO member states, concerned about the alleged political pressure on the organization. Several times theintelligence Taiwanese has released news against China and its allies on the subject coronavirus, some of which, such as the death of Kim Jong-un, which turned out to be false.

The great topic that occupies the debate among WHO member countries, by virtue of the excellent results in terms of containment of the pandemic (440 confirmed cases and 7 victims as of May 20, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University) and revelations about the reports to the organization, is the return of Taiwan to the Agency’s assemblies. To raise the issue first, on May 1, is theAustralia, thus exacerbating diplomatic tensions between Canberra and Beijing linked to Australian government support for an international investigation into the origins and management of coronavirus. Investigation which China opposes. In an interview, the Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, warned that Canberra ‘s stance may trigger a boycott of services and products. The initiative would bring Chinese tourists to “think twice” before visiting Australia, while the parents of students will wonder if Australia “is the best place to send their children to study.” And ordinary people will say “why should we drink Australian wine or eat Australian steaks?” He said. Threats similar to those sent to New Zeland who had sided with Canberra.

However, the position taken by the United States, the organization’s first financier, makes the most noise. The first to speak on the matter, on May 6, is the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who also became a protagonist for being among the main supporters of the theory that the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan laboratory and not in nature, as the main international scientific journals claim. On this occasion, Pompeo proposed Taiwan’s participation in the WHO assembly on 18 May. Question then also asked by Taipei: “The Taiwan model has shown that a transparent democracy can effectively respond to the pandemic of COVID-19“, Said the deputy foreign minister, Kelly Wu-Chiao Hsieh. A request that the organization did not satisfy, even after the “Strong opposition” and the “Formal protest” Chinese, postponing the discussion on the topic until the next session, sparking the protests of the other party.

Beijing had placed conditions on the island’s participation in the assembly on May 18, which, however, the “rebel” government deemed unacceptable. Among these was the recognition of the principle of “One country, two systems” Hong Kong-style, inadmissible request for the president Tsai Ing-wen who in his inaugural speech for his second term stressed that “we will not accept Beijing’s use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the status quo. We remain firm in the respect of this principle “. “I am sorry – he said only 24 hours before – that the WHO has once again excluded Taiwan from international dialogue for political reasons. Politics should never prevail over professionalism and no pressure will prevent us from continuing to fight Covid-19 and contributing to global health. ” An epilogue that, however, sparked protests from the United States, which they already had blocked the payment of funds organization and have been threatening to suspend it indefinitely for days. Pompeo, in a statement, accused the UN agency of having once again succumbed to pressure from China, highlighting the absence of independence and lack of credibility, according to him, of Director General Ghebreyesus.

After months of questions, accusations and answers on the management of the emergency by China and the WHO, more than 100 countries have asked for the opening of “a”independent investigation on the coronavirus pandemic ”. Beijing has again opposed, claiming its transparency since the beginning of the crisis and explaining that this is not the right time to start an investigation: “It will take a thorough investigation of Covid-19 based on science and carried out with professionalism – President Xi Jinping said – but only when the emergency is under control. ” Words similar to those pronounced a few hours later by Ghebreyesus and which have received a timid approval from the States: “I will start an independent investigation at the first opportune moment to evaluate the experience and lessons learned and to make some recommendations on how to improve the national and global preparedness for the pandemic, ”said the director general.

The clash with Taiwan, also public, continues. China continues to reiterate that “it will never tolerate” the separation from China and also shifts its sights on the allies of the small island, including the United States. Beijing has declared that the US moves on Taiwan “violate the promises made”, express “strong indignation and condemnation” on actions that “seriously damage the peace and stability of China-US relations” and will take “the necessary countermeasures and the US will have to pay the consequences“.

Twitter: @GianniRosini

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