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Regular Press Conference Held by the Delegation of China
Minister Li Bin Responded to Taiwan-related Issues of the World Health Assembly
2017/05/22

                                                 

At 4:00pm May 21 (Geneva time), the Delegation of China to the 70th World Health Assembly held a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. In response to questions raised by Itar Tass News Agency, Phoenix TV and Associated Press, Dr. Li Bin, Head of the Delegation of China and Minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China commented on Taiwan-related issues of this year’s World Health Assembly. She said that the participation of the Taiwan region in the activities of international organizations must be dealt with in accordance with the one-China principle. Taiwan compatriots are our brothers and sisters by bond of blood. The attitude of the central government of China in addressing the health issues of interest to Taiwan compatriots is sincere and earnest, and the active measures so taken are practical and effective. If the Taiwan authorities under the ruling Democratic Progressive Party truly care about the health and well-being of Taiwan compatriots, they should come back to the one-China principle and the 1992 consensus, which are the only right track that can truly benefit the people.

She also said that the World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 and World Health Assembly Resolution 25.1 provide the legal basis for the WHO to follow the one-China principle. It is a matter of course and highly appropriate for the WHO to implement those resolutions. From 2009 to 2016, the central government of China agreed to let the Taiwan region attend the World Health Assembly as an observer in the name of "Chinese Taipei" for 8 consecutive years, which was a special arrangement made on the premise of the one-China principle after consensus had been reached through cross-Straits consultations. After the Democratic Progressive Party came into power in the Taiwan region, it refused to recognize that the two sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one China. By so doing, it undermined the political basis of the cross-Straits relations, and made the cross-Straits contact and communication mechanism come to a standstill. As a result, the political basis of the Taiwan region's participation in the World Health Assembly has ceased to exist and it is impossible to carry out any cross-Straits consultations for the special arrangement anymore. In other words, it is the Democratic Progressive Party itself that has set the barrier to the participation of the Taiwan region in the World Health Assembly. Only when the political basis that reflects the one-China principle is reaffirmed can the regular cross-Straits contacts be continued and the cross-Straits consultations be conducted regarding the attendance of the Taiwan region at the World Health Assembly.

She pointed out that the central government of China has always attached great importance to the health and well-being of Taiwan compatriots and has taken a lot of measures to promote cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation in health sector. On the premise of the one-China principle and the 1992 consensus, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) of the mainland of China and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of the Taiwan region of China have signed the Cross-Straits Cooperation Agreement on Health, the Food Safety Agreement, the Framework Agreement on Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation, etc., which have established multiple platforms for exchanges and cooperation such as prevention and treatment of communicable diseases, drug safety management, drug research and development, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) research and development and TCM exchanges. Cooperation mechanisms have also been established, such as those on two-way emergency medical rescue, public health emergency and traditional medicine. Medical institutions, social groups and young physicians (medical students) across the Taiwan Straits are also having increasingly frequent exchanges and cooperation.

She stressed that on the premise of the one-China principle, China has made proper arrangements for the Taiwan region to participate in global health affairs. Medical and public health experts of the Taiwan region can attend related technical activities of the WHO. When necessary, the WHO can also send staff and technical experts to the Taiwan region for study visits on health and epidemics. Through consultations with the WHO, China has also made proper arrangements for the application of the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) in the Taiwan region. Within the framework of those arrangements, an IHR contact point has been set up in the Taiwan region, and it can access the information on public health emergencies released by the WHO. The so-called epidemic prevention gap doesn’t exist at all.

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