The World Health Organization meeting room with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus delivering a speech in May 2020 Photo: AFP
Although it is now in advance, the island of Taiwan has again been excluded from this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) and will continue to be excluded for the foreseeable future if it does not return. not to the one-China principle, some organizations that have worked hard for Taiwan’s membership continue to grumble bitterly.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHA will be held virtually from Monday to June 1, the island of Taiwan has not been invited to participate in the event, the fifth year that the decision-making body of the Organization World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected the proposal initiated by the United States and a handful of other countries.
Ironically, at a time when the authorities of the Progressive Democratic Party (DPP) in Taiwan have failed to control the virus and the island is experiencing a record outbreak of COVID-19, a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs ) self-proclaimed ones, especially those with tentacles of Western countries have yet brazenly launched the so-called “hashtag diplomacy” campaign, using hashtags like “Let Taiwan Help” and “Taiwan is Helping” on Twitter to propagate the pursuit of the DPP .
Certain associations and “NGOs” have played an increasingly important role in Taiwan’s foreign relations in recent years, promoting Taiwan’s “contribution” to the world and actively collaborating with European and American politicians with a “mentality” anti-China “, to implement the PDP. strategy to attract international attention for its secessionist objective, Sheng Jiuyuan, director of the Taiwan Research Center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, this year, more than 150 countries have expressed support for mainland China’s decision to oppose Taiwan’s participation in the AMS. More than 80 WHO members have sent letters to WHO expressing their commitment to the one-China principle.
The Formosa Public Affairs Association (FAPA), for example, recently participated in and promoted the online hashtag “Let Taiwan Help”, which was started by the United States Senate and House External Relations subcommittees. on Asia to advocate for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHA, with more than 60 U.S. lawmakers tweeting it in a day.
FAPA has called itself a US-based nonprofit educational organization that “provides US policymakers, media, academics and the general public with information on issues related to Taiwan.” However, the Global Times found that the “newsroom” on the FAPA website is filled with a large number of articles discrediting mainland China, that the mainland is intimidating the international community and playing politics with it. life of the people of Taiwan.
FAPA has also actively collaborated with the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance for China (IPAC), an organization that attempts to unite parliamentarians from Western countries to boycott the Chinese mainland on matters related to the regions of Taiwan, Xinjiang and of Tibet, to play more of the “human rights card” “to slander China and politicize global health problems in more parliaments in Europe and other continents.
In France, the Formosa Association in France (AFF) has publicly called on Taiwan to take a new path of “health diplomacy” to gain the world’s attention.
Local residents wearing masks wait for buses in New Taipei on May 15. Photo: AFP
AFF has long worked to rally pro-independence Taiwanese residents overseas and seek connections and support from the local community in France and other European countries to support Taiwan’s participation in the WHO in as an independent country.
In several recent forums and webinars hosted by AFF, anti-mainland politicians in Taiwan praised the French Senate’s support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA and claimed that the ultimate exclusion was a denial of Taiwan’s human rights. due to pressure from mainland China.
Sheng noted that the DPP authorities and his cronies have deliberately confused international society by claiming that only the acceptance of Taiwan by the WHO would be a successful example of international cooperation against the pandemic.
“The DPP insists on participating in the WHA as an independent country, which is the real manipulation of politics,” he added.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, since the early stages of COVID-19, the Chinese central government has notified the Taiwan region 260 times and approved health experts from Taiwan 16 times to participate in technical activities of WHO.
Representatives of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao attended the 74th session of the WHA as members of the Chinese delegation, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
“The WHO decision once again shows that the pursuit of ‘Taiwan independence’ is doomed to failure, and the promotion of Taiwan’s affairs internationally is unpopular,” Zhu Fenglian said Tuesday. , spokesperson for the Taiwanese Affairs Office of the State Council.
True colors of NGOs
Observers pointed out that although these groups generally disguise themselves as objective and independent NGOs, they are in fact anti-Chinese lobbies serving the interests of the secessionist authorities on the island of Taiwan and have a complex collusion of interests with the forces. anti-Western Chinese.
FAPA was founded in 1982 in Los Angeles by a group of “Taiwan independence” activists. In 1993, FAPA updated its charter to confirm that the organization’s most important goal is to gain international support to make Taiwan an “independent and democratic country.”
According to the statement of then-FAPA President Peter Chen, since the late 1990s, FAPA has repeatedly advocated in the United States for Taiwan’s membership in the WHO and has continually urged the Taiwanese authorities to establish an “allied front” to contain the Chinese mainland.
In 2003 and 2004, former Taiwanese regional leader Chen Shui-bian once instructed Taiwan’s “foreign affairs department” to send US $ 800,000 as a “secret diplomatic fund” to FAPA. However, some of the money was pocketed by Chen Mi-ching, brother of former FAPA chairman Chen Wen-yan, who then became a major spot in Chen Shui-bian’s corruption case.
FAPA mainly lobbied pro-Taiwan members of the U.S. Congress to defend the Taiwanese authorities, whose members often swapped interests with U.S. lawmakers through campaign contributions, Taiwan affairs scholars said.
A community park, closed due to social distancing measures following a spike in COVID-19 cases, is seen in Taipei on May 22. Photo: AFP
Wang Kenjohn, then president of FAPA, wrote in his memoir that he had helped raise campaign funds for many politicians.
On AFF’s Facebook page, their goal of “maintaining the self-determination of the Taiwanese people, safeguarding Taiwan’s” sovereignty “and” national dignity “” is also highlighted.
The Global Times also found that AFF has close ties with the Taipei representative office in France. The “representative of Taiwan in France” Wu Chih-chung, who openly claims to be “the pseudo-ambassador”, is a regular at conferences and forums organized by AFF.
With long-term support from the Taipei representative office in France, AFF and other groups have maintained close interaction with anti-China news outlets and lawmakers in Europe.
Some politicians in Europe and the United States are sparing no effort to endorse these Taiwanese institutions, which have used Taiwan as a pawn against mainland authority, while satisfying their selfish demands, Sheng noted.
In addition, Western media coverage of the latest outbreak in Taiwan is blatantly biased, which fully reflects the double standard and anti-Chinese nature of some Western media, he added.
“These hypnotizing and disparaging tactics are more like bragging and may not reflect true public opinion, but have proven that there is little room for Taiwan to conduct official diplomacy based on the widely recognized principle of one. China, ”Sheng said.
Instead of racking their brains to develop innovative “diplomatic channels” with “medical assistance”, the Taiwanese authorities should first bring the local epidemic under control and give a good response to the national public, he added.