Monday, September 19, 2011

WHO: We are Right, and You're Not! Taiwan is a Part of China!

The serpent on the WHO flag seems oddly appropriate
Big news in! Yesterday, DPP legislator Kuan Bi-ling said that, in response to a June 14 letter that the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group sent to the WHO to protest  several of the organization's recent statements that Taiwan was a province of China, the WHO has responded by emphasizing its supposed correctness. In the July 4 response letter, the WHO emphasized that, according to Resolution 25.1 of the World Health Assembly (background on the issue), "The WHO maintains that "China Taiwan" [Chinese-language literal translation of "Taiwan, China" as opposed to "Chinese Taipei"] is a part of China.... Unless the WHA resolution changes, the Secretariat will continue to respect the wording and the spirit of the resolution."

In other words, despite the fact that neither UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 nor WHA Resolution 25.1, the resolutions that handled the transfer of the China seat in the organizations from the ROC to the PRC, make any reference to Taiwan's status in relation to China, the WHO still claims that it's interpretation is the correct one. 

Although one might speculate about the motivations of WHO Director Margaret Chan, who happens to be Chinese and under whose tenure a controversial internal memo was circulated that said that Taiwan was to be treated as a province of China, this story is especially important now for another reason - namely that Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's campaign has recently stepped up its attacks on the "Taiwan Consensus" idea of Tsai Ing-wen, claiming that only the administration's preferred "92 Consensus" (one country, different interpretations) can serve as a stable foundation for cross-strait ties.

Kuan's revelation proves that negotiations based on the "92 Consensus" have not raised Taiwan's international status. Aside from the controversial China agreements, which Taiwan arrived at through negotiations with a partner that has never officially recognized the "different interpretations" part of the "92 Consensus", this is one of the Ma administration's only supposed international diplomatic gains for Taiwan. What good is the "92 Consensus" if it can only secure Pyrrhic victories against Chinese intimidation?

It amazes me that President Ma can still advocate such a flawed model for negotiations with such a straight face. Then again, what else does he have to crow about?

1 comment:

  1. As weird as Ma's insistance may be, he has little choice. Any change in policy would do more to make people aware that the emperor is naked, than muddling trough - at least until election day, if not far beyond.