by WorldTribune Staff, February 3, 2020
Officials in Taiwan are livid that the island nation is being included as part of China in the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency declaration on the coronavirus.
Taiwan has reported just 10 cases of the virus, compared to more than 14,000 in China. But due to influence from the communist government in China, the WHO considers self-ruled Taiwan part of China. Thus Taiwan is included in the WHO’s advice that China is “very high risk.”
According to a Reuters report, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Sunday asked Taiwan’s diplomats around the world in places where Taiwan airlines fly to explain that what the WHO is doing to include the island as part of China is wrong and should not be allowed to affect flights.
“Taiwan is Taiwan. Taiwan is not a part of the People’s Republic of China,” Wu said, adding that Taiwan and China had totally separate health and airline management systems.
“This simple reality the WHO should not get wrong,” Wu said.
Taiwan is not a member of the WHO due to Chinese objections. China considers democratic Taiwan its own territory with no right to participate in international organizations unless it acknowledges it is part of China, something Taiwan’s government has refused to do.
Italy last week ordered all flights between the country and China to be stopped based on the WHO categorization. The order includes Taiwan’s China Airlines, the only Taiwanese airline to fly between Taiwan and Italy.
Johnson Chiang, the head of Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry’s Europe department, said they had told the Italian government on Friday their ban on Taiwan flights was not based on science.
“We think this decision is incorrect,” he said.
The WHO has put Taiwan under China which has misled Italy’s health department, Chiang added.
Taiwan managed within a few hours to get Vietnam to lift its ban on flights to Taiwan, as the Southeast Asian country had likewise included the island in its ban on flights from China.
Taiwan has called on the WHO to grant it access to ensure it gets the most up-to-date virus information. The WHO says Taiwan is getting the information it needs, though has not been permitted to attend emergency meetings.