Presidential spokesman disappointed with KMT over WHA participation

2017/05/09 22:25:50
Presidential spokesman disappointed with KMT over WHA participation

Taipei, May 9 (CNA) Presidential Office Spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Tuesday that he was disappointed by the opposition Kuomintang's (KMT's) argument that as long as the government accepts the "1992 consensus," it will be able to attend the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

Huang was asked by the media to comment on the KMT's view in regard to Taiwan's participation as an observer in the May 22-31 WHA, the decision making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations organization.

"The KMT's view looks similar to that of the Chinese government. That's disappointing. Our people will not accept it," said Huang, referring to the Chinese government's position on Taiwan's participation in the global health system.

If Taiwan refuses to accept the "one China principle" that is the precondition of the "1992 consensus," there will be no basis for Taiwan's participation in the WHA, China's top official in charge of Taiwan relations said a day earlier.

If Taiwan wants to join international organizations, it must return to the fundamental condition, which is recognition of the "one China principle" and the "1992 consensus," Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, told reporters during a visit to Suqian City in Jiangsu Province.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit agreement reached between China and Taiwan in Hong Kong in 1992, when the KMT was the ruling party of Taiwan, that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret what "one China" means.

For the KMT, which lost power to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2000 before regaining it in 2008 but lost it again in 2016, "one China" means the Republic of China, based on whose constitution the DPP is the governing party in Taiwan.

As Taiwan made last-ditch efforts to secure an invitation from the WHO Secretariat to attend this year's WHA session, media attention turned to how the government under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was reacting to China's rejection of Taiwan's calls to attend the annual public health forum.

Reporters asked Huang whether Tsai will adjust her China policy in the face of China's demand for her to accept the "1992 consensus" -- without which China will keep pressuring Taiwan in all international organizations.

Huang said that as a member of the international community, Taiwan has a right and an obligation to do its share of the work for the good of all.

Those who blame Taiwan for its being refused entry to an international organization are reversing the cause and effect of the situation, he said.

(By Sophia Yeh and S.C. Chang)
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