Statement by H.E. Ambassador CHEN Xu at the Plenary of the Resumed Session of the 73rd World Health Assembly
2020-11-09 00:34

Madam President,

Mr. Director-General,



The General Committee of the resumed session of the 73rd World Health Assembly(WHA73) made a recommendation not to include the Taiwan-related proposal in the agenda. The Chinese delegation firmly supports this recommendation. I would like to stress the following points:


First, the Taiwan-related proposal does not stand up to reason or have any legal foundation. The UNGA Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1 provided the legal basis for WHO to abide by the one-China principle, and recognized Taiwan's status as part of the People's Republic of China. No legal basis can be found in the Constitution of WHO or the Rules of Procedure of WHA to justify the participation of a region of a sovereign state as an observer in the WHA. The Taiwan-related proposal violates the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the WHO's Constitution and the WHA's Rules of Procedure, and is purely illegal and invalid.


Second, China's position on the Taiwan region's participation in the WHA is consistent and clear. It must be arranged under the one-China principle and through cross-strait consultations. From 2009 to 2016, the Taiwan region participated in the WHA as an observer under the name of "Chinese Taipei" for eight consecutive years. That was a special arrangement made in the background of peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait. The one-China principle and cross-strait consultations represent the political foundation for the special arrangement for the Taiwan region's participation in the WHA. However, since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, it has obstinately adhered to the separatist position of "Taiwan independence" and refused to recognize that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. As a result, the political foundation for the Taiwan region to participate in WHO has ceased to exist. 


Third, it must be pointed out that, the Taiwan authority DPP, by instigating a small number of countries to put forward this Taiwan-related proposal, attempts to transcend the limitations set up by the basic legal documents of UN and WHO, create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" within the UN system and the WHO, and advance their political agenda at the WHA to extend its so-called "international space" and to gain recognition of the so-called "independent sovereign status", which is doomed to fail.


Fourth, under the one-China principle, the Taiwan region has been involved in global health affairs including WHO's technical activities, and has had unfettered access to information. After the outbreak of the pandemic, the central government of China has sent more than 240 notifications on COVID-19 to the Taiwan region, and experts from the Taiwan region have participated many times in WHO's information briefings and exchanges on COVID-19. The trajectory of the outbreak in the Taiwan region also fully demonstrates that relevant arrangements are reasonable and effective. There is no so-called "gap in international epidemic prevention system", nor do experts of the Taiwan region lack channels and platforms to share response and control practices with others. Packaging the   Taiwan region's participation issue with the health issue will not fly.


The WHA has already reached a conclusion on Taiwan-related issue. Certain countries' insistence on submitting a Taiwan-related proposal can only interfere with the proceedings of the Assembly and harm the interests of the majority of the WHO member states. We urge relevant countries to stop politicizing health issues and using Taiwan issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, and not to disturb the proper order of the Assembly for their self-interest.


We call on President to make decisive decision to endorse the recommendation made by the General Committee not to include the Taiwan-related proposal in the agenda of the Assembly.