China dismisses Taipei’s WHO bid

Associated Press

Beijing, May 11:

China said today it has international support to block rival Taiwan’s attempt to participate in the World Health Organisation. “China expresses strong dissatisfaction” with the island’s latest attempt to gain a WHO observer seat, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.

“China’s position will be supported by most countries in the world,” Liu said at a regular news briefing. China claims self-ruled Taiwan is part of its territory and says it should be represented by Beijing’s WHO delegation. The two sides have been ruled separately since 1949.

Taiwan hopes WHO member governments will consider its application at a May 17-22 forum of the Geneva-based UN agency. Taiwan’s efforts have “no legal basis,” in the words of China’s official position, since “only sovereign countries are eligible to be members.”