PRESS RELEASE – WITH regard to the note verbale sent by mainland China’s permanent mission at the UN office in Geneva to the missions of other countries, which aimed to demean the status of the Republic of China (Taiwan) as a sovereign state by referring to it as Taiwan Province of China, the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs hereby issues the following statement.
I. The ROC government’s longstanding efforts since 1997 to achieve meaningful participation in the WHO (World Health Organization) have earned recognition and support from the international community. Taiwan’s participation in the WHA (World Health Assembly) from 2009 to 2016 was the result of Taiwan’s urgent need for involvement, the support extended by the international community, as well as mutual expressions of goodwill by the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Mainland China’s claim that Taiwan’s participation was based on the “one China principle” constitutes a unilateral claim that is completely at odds with the facts.
II. The two resolutions cited unilaterally by mainland China―UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1―are not related to Taiwan’s professional participation in the WHO, and do not offer solutions as to how the right to health of the 23 million people of Taiwan can be properly safeguarded.
III. The ROC government reiterates that only it can represent the 23 million people of Taiwan in international organizations and assume responsibility for their health. To exclude Taiwan for political reasons not only violates the WHO Constitution but also deprives the Taiwanese people of their rights.
The ROC government calls on the WHO and all parties concerned to recognize the necessity and importance of Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, and to work together to uphold the right to health of people around the world and ensure a seamless disease prevention network.