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Statement by H. E. Ambassador SHA Zukang, Head of the Chinese Observer Delegation, at the 109th Session of the Executive Board of the WHO (Geneva, 14 January 2002)
2004/04/19

Madam Chair,

Thank you for giving me the floor. It's my firm belief that under your outstanding leadership, the 109th session of the Executive Board will be a success.

Madam Chair, Honorable Ministers and Distinguished Delegates,

As we may recall that, each year from 1997 to 2001, the World Health Assembly (WHA) considered the proposal of so-called "Inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer ". And each year the proposal was rejected and thus the attempt to include the proposal into the agenda of the WHA ended up in failure. Logically, such a farce should have already come to an end. However, the Taiwan authorities and those few countries do not want to give up. Today for the first time, the farce is performed on the stage of the Executive Board. This is really a misfortune for the WHO. The Chinese delegation can not but express its regret over this new development.

Madam Chair,

On the Taiwan-related proposal, the position of the Chinese Government is firm, clear and consistent. That is, the Chinese Government resolutely rejects the proposal of inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer and opposes the inclusion of the proposal as an item into the provisional agenda of the WHA.

At the instigation of the Taiwan authorities, some countries which have the so-called "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan, have raised this proposal time and again. The real intention of the Taiwan authorities is to split Taiwan from China and to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" in the international arena. The proposal has nothing to do at all with concern for the health of the Taiwan people.

Madam Chair,

WHO is a UN specialized agency and only sovereign States are eligible for its membership. Taiwan, as a province of China, has no qualification whatsoever to participate in the WHA. Should the Executive Board include the Taiwan-related proposal into the provisional agenda, it would constitute a violation of the relevant resolutions adopted by both the UN General Assembly and the WHA. The UN General Assembly, through Resolution 2758, explicitly decides, I quote, "to recognize the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it", end of quote. Accordingly, the WHA, through Resolution WHA25.1, decides, I quote, "to recognize the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the World Health Organization, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the World Health Organization", end of quote. It is exactly based on the above-mentioned resolutions that the WHA has rejected, for 5 times since 1997, the proposal of the so-called "Inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer".

According to the Constitution of the WHO, the WHA is the supreme organ of the WHO. Article 28 of the Constitution stipulates that the Executive Board shall give effect to the decisions and policies of the WHA and act as the executive organ of the WHA. Obviously, the Executive Board has the obligation to abide by the above decisions. The Executive Board therefore has no competence at all either to consider or to include the Taiwan-related proposal into the provisional agenda of the WHA, let alone making any decision in violation of the resolutions and other related decisions of the UNGA and the WHA.

Madam Chair,

Here I wish to clarify two points. Firstly, the Taiwan authorities and some countries claim that Taiwan has no access to the information of the WHO because it is excluded from the activities of the WHO. This is not true. The fact is that Taiwan province has access to the information of the WHO. The Central Government of China has always attached great importance to the health and well-being of Taiwan compatriots and has actively promoted exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Straits in the field of health. Secondly, WHO is not WTO. WHO is a UN specialized agency and WTO is not. Taiwan became a member of the WTO on the 1st of January this year. But please note that Taiwan is admitted in the WTO with the status of "Chinese Taipei separate customs territory" but not as a sovereign State.

Madam Chair,

Respect for State sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in each other's internal affairs are fundamental principles enshrined in the UN Charter. There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the entire people of China. These are the basic facts universally recognized by the international community. The Taiwan question is purely an internal affair of China and should only be resolved by the Chinese people themselves. No foreign country has the right to meddle or interfere in. To raise a proposal on Taiwan's participation in the WHO, under whatever pretext or in whatever form, is an act of infringement upon the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China and an act of interference in the internal affairs of China.

Madam Chair,

I am aware that there is a lot of work for this session of the Executive Board I also note that many members and delegates present are health experts. Many have come all this distance for the discussion of health-related issues. These issues are very important for the world people. The Taiwan-related proposal is not a relevant issue. It distracts our work and unnecessarily generates political confrontation among WHO Members. This is a situation China does not want to see, nor do you, Madam Chair, and the majority of the members. WHO is a specialized and highly technical agency and should not be distracted by political issues. This should be our common understanding.

The Chinese Government requests WHO to strictly adhere to the principle of respecting State sovereignty and territorial integrity enshrined in the UN Charter, and abide by the UNGA and the WHA resolutions. The Chinese delegation urges the Executive Board to make a decision not to consider the Taiwan-related proposal so as to avoid the unfortunate disturbance.

Madam Chair,

For those countries who are really concerned about health of our Taiwan compatriots, they should encourage instead of discourage the unification of China. The ways, which are being proposed, will certainly tantamount to split China, to create "one China and one Taiwan". Just as well put by the distinguished delegate from the Comoros and Congo. We hope that this session with a quick settlement of this issue can proceed with its normal usual work.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

(Translation)

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