Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Beijing [China], May 11 (ANI): Opposing the growing calls for Taiwan's participation as an observer at World Health Assembly (WHA), China attacked the United States on Monday for supporting Taipei's bid at the table of WHO's decision-making body.

"US Secretary of State Blinken's statement calling for Taiwan's participation as an observer at WHA gravely violates the one-China principle and three China-US joint communiques and interferes in China's domestic affairs. We deplore and reject it," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying during a press briefing on Monday.

"We urge the US to stop hyping up Taiwan-related issues, which will not help with the global anti-virus cooperation and will be firmly rejected by the vast majority of members of the international community," the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson further stressed that the Taiwan question bears on China's core interests, where there was ''not a single inch for compromise".

Last Friday, Taiwan thanked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after Washington extended its support for Taipei's contention at the WHA. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said that excluding a "vibrant democracy" while jeopardizing global health is wrong, especially at the behest of China.

Prior to that, the United States called upon the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer at the upcoming annual meeting of WHA, saying there is "no reasonable justification" for Taipei's continued exclusion from the forum.

"There is no reasonable justification for Taiwan's continued exclusion from this forum, and the United States calls upon the WHO Director-General to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer at the WHA - as it has in previous years, prior to objections registered by the government of the People's Republic of China," Blinken said in a statement.

The WHA is set to hold its 74th annual meeting virtually from Geneva, Switzerland, from May 24 to June 1.

Recently, foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) countries have come out in support of Taiwan's observer status in the decision-making body of the WHO.

The Beijing government has been blocking Taiwan's representation at WHO meetings after the self-ruled democracy elected Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwan's president in 2016 and again in 2020. Delegates from Taiwan had attended the WHA as nonvoting observers from 2009 to 2016, during a period of relatively warm ties between Beijing and Taipei. (ANI)

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