Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Taiwan fails to get into the World Health Assembly again...

...and neither the BBC's nor CNN's websites even mention it.

For those who are counting, this was the tenth attempt by Taiwan to get observer status (not even full status as a member!) in the World Health Assembly. For those who are not counting, you should be.

As the Taipei Times reports, the assembly refused (again) even to include Taiwan's application on its meeting agenda (pdf). This was after the assembly listened to protests from Pakistan and the PRC (those role models of humanitarianism). (If you're interested in the discussion of the adoption of the agenda, you can find it in this document [pdf], page 10, Item 1.4)

The Taipei Times quotes "Ambassador and permanent representative to the UN Sha Zukang (沙祖康)" as lying saying, "'We have been very concerned about the [Taiwanese people's] health. This is absolutely for sure'." As the Times editorialized during the SARS crisis of 2003, "the biggest contribution China has made to the health of the people of Taiwan and the world lately is the transmission of the SARS virus." Those of us with memories that go back to the 921 earthquake also recall how China's Red Cross demanded international Red Cross organizations work with it if they wanted to help Taiwan. Typically, what the PRC says and what it does regarding its "concern" for the people of Taiwan are diametrically opposed.

Maybe the reason that CNN and the BBC haven't reported on this is that, after 10 years, it isn't news anymore.


Anonymous said...

What's the surprise? Taiwan needs to set record strait with China before going international. It's the same thing with person. You want to claim sth, get approved first by your family, then your neibour, then the whole community. Not the other way around. Why is Taiwan so afraid to deal with China? Taiwan's President has the guts to go all the way around the world, just not the gut to cross the straight.

Jonathan Benda said...

While I agree there's no surprise, if you want to use the "family" metaphor (which I'm not especially fond of), the PRC's clearly in the role of an abusive family member. You don't ask the abused family member to "negotiate" with the abuser and try to come to terms with that person. If you do, you're only setting up things up for more abuse

I'm pretty sure you won't agree with me on this, though.