Since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Taiwan has confirmed at least one case of the Wuhan pneumonia. Nevertheless, Taiwan was not invited to join other member states with confirmed cases in an emergency meeting that WHO (the World Health Organization) held on Wednesday January 22.
On Wednesday, in its response to the Wuhan pneumonia epidemic, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference regarding Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHO, “No one cares more about the health and well-being of Taiwan compatriots than the Chinese central government.” On Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, Geng said, “Reasonable arrangements must be made through cross-strait consultations under the one-China principle.”
The Taiwan government responded to Geng’s statement with dissatisfaction, regret, and condemnation. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne OU said on Thursday that, while the pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan has “intensified sharply and continued to spread outward,” not only did the Chinese Foreign Ministry not “share the facts about the epidemic’s situation” with Taiwan, but it also “posed as the central government and played politics” to denigrate Taiwan’s national sovereignty status. “The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs deeply regrets such a bad act on China’s part and condemns it.”
In an interview with the VOA, Richard Bush, a senior researcher at the East Asian Studies Center at the Brookings Institute, said that the handling of the new coronavirus put China in an awkward situation, but Beijing’s political operations may “not be a bad thing. It actually let people see clearly what kind of government it is.”
Source: Voice of America, January 23, 2020