Saturday, May 14, 2011

WHO Dunnit?

The internal WHO memo on Taiwan has been in the news this week. The Taipei Times reported on FAPA's response to the revelations that China was controlling Taiwan's observer status at the World Health Assembly (Yay! We can observe an assembly!), the kind of thing that everyone was shocked, I tell you, shocked, to find out:
The Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) says that the disclosure of an internal WHO memo instructing its agencies to refer to Taiwan as a province of China has sent “shockwaves” through the overseas Taiwanese community.

“The episode shows that the [President] Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)] administration has been deceptive and given the Taiwanese public an unwarranted rosy picture of the situation,” FAPA president Bob Yang (楊英育) said.
Dated Sept. 14 last year, the memo says that procedures used by the WHO to facilitate relations with Taiwan were subject to Chinese approval and that Taiwan “as a province of China, cannot be party to the International Health Regulations (IHR).”

In a statement distributed to the US press, FAPA said: “The information in the memo stands in stark contrast to the image presented by the Ma Ying-jeou administration, which emphasized that Taiwan’s observership — started in 2009 — amounted to ‘substantive participation’ and had come about as a result of direct negotiations with the WHO, without Chinese involvement.”
The truly sad part is that there was much bottom up pressure from other WHO nations in the developing world that have worked with Taiwan doctors for greater Taiwan participation in the WHO. But the KMT administration has handed over Taiwan's participation in the WHO and its various entities to China. I don't think anyone believed there wasn't this "Taiwan, Province of China" quid pro quo, but it is still nice to have confirmation of everyone's duplicity. Hopefully it will sway a few independent voters.

And it should also make you wonder.... since the WHO stuff was negotiated and then strenuously lied about, what about ECFA?

Meanwhile the KMT was attempting to push the blame onto the DPP for the use of "Taiwan, China" in WHO-related affairs....
Responding to Ma’s claim that the DPP administration condoned similar action, another DPP spokesperson, Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), said Ma “needed to take a look in the mirror.”

DPP lawmakers launched a fresh round of attacks earlier in the morning, accusing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of masterminding an agreement between Beijing and the WHO that relegated Taiwan’s status to that of a -Chinese province, as evidenced by the memo.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said that a 2005 Memorandum of Understanding between China and the WHO, which referred to Taiwan as “Taiwan, China,” came shortly after closed-door talks between the KMT and Chinese officials.
This also highlights another issue in cross-strait negotiations: it is not Taiwan or even "the ROC" that is negotiating, but the KMT.
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Jenna said...

This makes me so stinkin' mad, and what bothers me even more is the muted reaction of so many locals. As in me: "Did you hear about this?!" local friend: "Oh, yeah, that's no"


Anonymous said...

The CCP and KMT are killing us slowly, and many people are used to it. I'd love to see a better wake-up/numbed ratio.

Anonymous said...

Not a great state of affairs, to be sure, but if the only other option is complete exclusion of Taiwan from these kind of international bodies, then we have to live with it. Being left out because of insistence over the name would be worse.