Taiwan is the only country perhaps which has successfully defeated the Wuhan virus despite the odds stacked against the nation thanks to the complete non-cooperation of the WHO. While the WHO was busy playing Beijing’s political games, Taiwan has quietly earned legitimacy across the world which will act as a slap on the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘One China Policy’.
China asserts that it has the sole right over Taiwan and claims that Taiwan is a part of China. In reality, Taiwan has is an independent nation which has been running its own governments since 1949. China is desperately trying to bring back Taiwan to its fold and won’t hesitate from apply force if needed. While the WHO considers Taiwan to be a part of China, the former in the wake of the Wuhan virus is now rapidly gaining legitimacy much to the XI Jinping’s displeasure.
Recently, Taiwan donated 5.6 million masks to the European Union to help fight the Wuhan virus. The President of European Commission which is the European Union’s executive arm, Ursula von der Leyen took to Twitter to praise and thank Taiwan.
She tweeted, “The European Union thanks Taiwan for its donation of 5.6 million masks to help fight the #coronavirus. We appreciate this gesture of solidarity. This global virus outbreak requires international solidarity & cooperation,” tweeted von der Leyen, who is four months into leading the executive arm of the 27-nation bloc. “Acts like this show that we are #StrongerTogether.”
The European Union thanks Taiwan for its donation of 5.6 million masks to help fight the #coronavirus. We really appreciate this gesture of solidarity. This global virus outbreak requires international solidarity & cooperation. Acts like this show that we are #StrongerTogether.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 1, 2020
Taiwan’s praise by a top European Union official is significant. The EU has often titled towards Beijing with Italy being one of the first countries to participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Rarely does the 27-bloc EU supports or appreciates Taiwan.
However, China’s abject failure to contain the virus and then collude with the WHO to blind the world about the impending disaster has riled up the EU. Ursula von der Leyen’s decision to praise Taiwan follows move by the EU’s top diplomat to criticise China of practising the “politics of generosity” in the wake of China’s selective donations to European countries.
Additionally, Taiwan’s top research academy, Academia Sinica Fans is in advanced talks with the EU to develop vaccines and rapid testing which will most likely spook China.
Taiwan received a major shot in the arm as the US President Donald Trump recently signed the TAIPEI Act to support Taiwan’s international relations. More importantly, the bill had received bipartisan support as it had been unanimously passed by both the house of Representatives and the Senate. This came at a time when the world is blaming China for causing the coronavirus pandemic.
The TAIPEI act states that the US should strive to support Taiwan in strengthening the country’s alliances across the world in the face of Chinese pressure as countries like Burkina Faso, Gambia, Panama and the Dominican Republic have formally severed diplomatic ties in favour of diplomatic relations with China.
“Today and on all days, Congress continues to send a message to the world that America stands with Taiwan. … We [must] ensure that Taiwan has a seat at the international decision-making table, including at the United Nations,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi upon the passing of the bill.
The TAIPEI act also seeks to safeguard Taiwan against any Chinese aggression. The law mandates that the US President is required to provide weapons to Taiwan that mitigate the looming Chinese military threat.
The Communist Party of China wasted no time in labelling the act as an “evil act” as it claimed that the act “sabotages China’s famed One China principle”. A stung Chinese government also warned the USA that it will have to bear the consequences of its actions.
“We strongly urge the U.S. to correct its mistake, refrain from implementing this act and obstructing other countries’ pursuit of relations with China. Otherwise, it will be met with resolute countermeasures from the Chinese side,” said China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang.
Taiwan till date has reported only 339 cases of the Wuhan virus with 5 fatalities despite being continually ignored by the WHO. Under the tenure of under the Ma Ying-jeou administration which was widely perceived as pro-China, since 2009, the country had been an observer at the WHO under the name of “Chinese Taipei”. However, the status was soon revoked after pro-democracy and a fierce China critic Tsai Ing-wen stormed to power in 2016.
Much to the displeasure of China, Taiwan is also extensively working with the USA for a joint-medical help initiative. True to its characteristics, Beijing lashed out at this development. “The joint statement between Taiwan and the US once again exposed the Democratic Progressive Party’s despicable move and political plot to use the Covid-19 pandemic to achieve independence,” said the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office.
The USA and China continue to spar over Taiwan’s continued exclusion from the WHO meetings. While the USA has supported Taiwan’s inclusion into the WHO meetings as an “observer”, Taiwan’s participation has now also been backed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The fact that Taiwan controlled the outbreak of the Wuhan virus without the help of the WHO hasn’t gone unnoticed. Taiwan was among the first countries to alert the WHO back on December 31, 2019 of the possible human-to-human transmission of the deadly virus. But the WHO ignored the warning perhaps because China claims Taiwan to be a part of its territory while in reality, the Chinese Communist Party rules only the Mainland China. Paying heed to Taiwan’s warnings would have meant the WHO recognising the global status of Taiwan something which Xi Jinping wouldn’t have liked.
To put things into perspective, Taiwan was the first country to act against the threat of the Wuhan virus as around 60,000 flights carrying 10 million passengers travel between Taiwan and China every year. However, the WHO decided to play Beijing’s political games as it excluded the country from the emergency meetings of the WHO on how to tackle the Wuhan virus.
Since 2016, Taiwan hasn’t been allowed to participate at the annual World Health Assembly and WHO technical and experts’ meetings — which is a sign of the sway that China has over the WHO.
Much to the glee of Xi Jinping, the WHO continues to address Taiwan as “Chinese Taipei” and all the cases of the Wuhan virus released by the Taiwanese authorities are shockingly placed under China despite the fact that the Xi Jinping government has no jurisdiction over Taiwan.
It is important to note that, Taiwan has been ranked as no.1 for two consecutive years in the Health Care Index and the nation’s participation in the WHO meetings would have certainly helped the world.
What’s more appalling is the fact that on February 28, the WHO listed Taiwan as “very high risk” at a time when the country had only 34 confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus. This had a devastating impact on Taiwan as countries like Italy, Philippines and Vietnam restricted the flights to and fro from Taiwan and also the entry of Taiwanese nationals.
Philippines who had earlier followed the WHO’s advisory and imposed travel restrictions on Taiwan had revoked the order on February 14 itself as they acknowledged Taiwan’s efforts in containing the virus. “The lifting of travel restrictions for Taiwan has been agreed by the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force because of the strict measures (against the virus) they are undertaking,” said Salvador Panelo, spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte.
It seems that the world is now finally recognising Taiwan’s work and its importance in the wake of the Wuhan virus which bodes well for Taiwan and threatens to dump the CCP’s “One China Policy” for good.