Much has been written about how the World Health Organisation colluded with the Chinese Communist Party to blind the world over the Wuhan virus. At a time when over 100 countries are battling the Wuhan virus, there is a crying need for the countries to know the prevention measures against the deadly virus. In a sensational revelation, the Taiwanese government has accused the WHO of not sharing the information provided by Taiwan to member countries on how Taiwan was successfully able to nip the Wuhan virus in its bud.
Due to Chinese pressure, the WHO refuses to entertain Taiwan as 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.
The nation was left alone in its battle against the Wuhan virus as the WHO refused to cooperate with Taiwan. Little did Taiwan know that it worked in their best interests as the countries who relied on the WHO with case in point being Italy have now unfortunately become the epicentre of the Wuhan virus. The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry has accused the WHO of withholding vital information shared by Taiwan on how to control the virus from the member states.
Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou claimed that ever since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the country has shared the information about its cases and prevention methods with the WHO, however the organisation never included in the WHO’s daily updated situation report. “Therefore, the health bodies of various countries cannot understand the current situation of Taiwan’s epidemic situation, preventive policies and border quarantine measures from the information provided by the WHO,” Ou said.
The Taiwanese government also slammed the WHO as it was kept out of the organisation during the outbreak which it claimed amounts to playing politics with Taiwanese lives. The country has earned admirers by successfully controlling the virus keeping the toll low thanks to its early detection and control methods.
Taiwan has been perennially ignored by the WHO as the Chinese Communist Party likes to claim that Taiwan is under its jurisdiction but in reality, the CCP only controls the mainland China and has no say over what happens in Taiwan.
Taiwan had warned as early as December 31 on the possible human-to-human transmission of the Wuhan virus but to little avail. 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. Hence, the desperate warnings of Taiwan were paid no heed by the WHO.
To put things into perspective, Taiwan was the first country to act against the threat of the Wuhan virus as around 60,000 flights carry 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.
Much to the glee of Xi Jinping, 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.
Recently, Bruce Aylward who is the assistant director-general of the WHO when asked about by a RTHK journalist if the WHO would reconsider Taiwan’s membership, initially pretended that he hasn’t heard the question. When the journalist again attempted to ask the question but Aylward was quick to dismiss it and asked her to move to the next question. But the journalist didn’t budge and again sought to ask about Taiwan, Aylward abruptly ended the video interview.
The journalist then proceeded to call him again and asked Aylward about his thoughts on how Taiwan has done to combat the virus. Shockingly, Aylward forgot his position at the WHO and started behaving as a spokesperson for the Chinese Communist Party and exclaimed, “ Well, we have already talked about China and you know, when you look across all the different areas of China, they have all done quite a good job.”
To see Aylward directly toe the line of the CCP is a sign that the WHO officials are being thought policed. There is no doubt that Chinese funding and influence has overwhelmed the organisation and destroyed the institution as it were. From praising China’s authoritarian handling of the virus to now claiming that Taiwan is a part of China, the WHO has done it all expect to focus on containing the pandemic.
However, despite the best efforts of the organisation to shield China, international pressure has resulted in cracks between the WHO and China. The WHO in a rare admission said that it was closely following the development of the coronavirus in the country as it is striving to learn how Taiwan has successfully battled the virus.
China on its part too, revealed new 1,541 cases of the Wuhan virus which it was hiding till date. Despite the fact that the WHO mandated to include the asymptomatic positive coronavirus patients in the virus’ tally, China continued to exclude such patients. In a rare admission the Chinese government has now finally relented. However, Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reveals that the total cases of asymptomatic patients in China is well over 43,000.
There is no doubt that the world would have been a better place had the WHO heeded to the warnings of Taiwan or at least shared the country’s best practices with the member states. However, it seems that the international pressure is starting to develop cracks between the China-WHO alliance.