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Open letter to Oppose World Medical Association’s Supporting of Taiwan’s Participation in the 73th World Health Assembly as Observer by Chinese Medical Association

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8 Nov., 2020

Representing 700 thousands of its members, the Chinese Medical Association (CMA) solemnly object to World Medical Association’s supporting of Taiwan’s Participation in the 73th World Health Assembly as Observer and WMA’s Open Letter to WHO.

Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations clearly states that the Organization and its Members shall act in accordance with the principle that “The organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members”. The World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, deals with the participation of Taiwan, China in the affairs of the WHO, including matters related to the IHR, in accordance with the one-China principle affirmed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 2758 and the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution 25.1. In Article 3 Principles, the IHR explicitly states that “The implementation of these Regulations shall be guided by the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of the World Health Organization.”

From 2009 to 2016, on the premise that the then Taiwan authorities recognize the 1992 Consensus, which reflects the one-China principle, the Taiwan region was able to be invited to the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer. However, the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in Taiwan, China refuse to recognize the 1992 Consensus that both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China. As a consequence, the political foundation previously negotiated through cross-Straits consultation for Taiwan, China to participate in the WHA is not there anymore and the Taiwan region is unable to continue attending the WHA, a situation caused entirely by the DPP authorities.

The Chinese central government has consistently placed high importance on the health and well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan, China. On the precondition that the one-China principle is observed, a number of measures have been taken to promote cross-Straits health cooperation and exchanges, and appropriate arrangements have been made for Taiwan, China to be part of global health affairs. Therefore, based on the one-China principle, there is no barrier whatsoever to the participation of Taiwan, China in global health affairs, including the WHO technical activities and access to information. Medical experts from Taiwan, China can participate in the WHO technical activities. With all these arrangements in place, the Taiwan region is well-positioned to respond timely and effectively to public health emergencies there and beyond. According to incomplete statistics, since 2019, a total of 23 batches of health experts from Taiwan, China have participated in the WHO technical activities. At the request of Taiwan experts, the Chinese central government has agreed to make arrangements for the participation of Taiwan medical technical experts in several WHO technical activities directly related to COVID-19. The channels for the Taiwan region to have access to epidemic information are open, and there is no “gap in the global disease prevention networks" whatsoever. Therefore, the DPP authorities repeatedly hyped up the Taiwan-related issues in the WHO, even attacking the WHO and making unreasonable demands in violation the relevant provisions of international organizations, just for one single purpose, that is, political manoeuvres to seek independence with epidemics. Hence, the issue of people’s health in Taiwan, China should not be confused with the issue of its participation in the WHO activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the world is a common enemy of mankind. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon to win the battle against the pandemic. At this special moment of the global fight against COVID-19,representing 700 thousands of its members, the CMA and its members solemnly object to WMA’s supporting of Taiwan’s Participation in the 73th World Health Assembly as Observer and WMA’s Open Letter to WHO, and call for : the WMA’s observance of the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of the WHO, and the WMA’s honouring of the commitment made by Dr. Ian T. Field, then Secretary-General of the WMA, in his letter to the CMA in 1997, stating respect for the fact that there is only one China.

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