Over the last few days, there have been several attempts by an Australia-led faction of multiple nations to include Taiwan in the World Health Assembly, WHO’s working forum. Chinese President Xi Jinping boasted his country’s transparent approach towards the COVID-19 pandemic during the first day of the annual WHO summit on 18th May. While declaring China as a champion of the developing nations, Xi seemed relaxed with Taiwan not a part of the meeting — one of the Communist Party’s primary motives in the recent past.
With the global voice for probing into Coronavirus’ source getting louder, Xi Jinping gave a green signal for it, while putting emphasis on the necessity of information-sharing and transparency during these days.
Was that the end of Xi’s problem? No, certainly not. Taiwan has been another of the many headaches faced by the Chinese authorities in the recent past. Since Taiwan has been a successful campaigner in controlling Coronavirus by recognizing its threat in the very early.
Then, there was Taiwan. Ahead of the meeting, the United States and 28 other countries called for Taiwan to be admitted to the meeting as an observer, given its success in recognizing the coronavirus threat early and warding it off at home. China has long been trying to keep Taiwan as untouchable by the global community through its diplomatic might.
Since WHO officials have been supporting China, despite the country hiding the real COVID-19 number, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rebuked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a statement that reads, “The Director-General’s lack of independence deprives the Assembly of Taiwan’s renowned scientific expertise on pandemic disease, and further damages the WHO’s credibility and effectiveness at a time when the world needs it the most.”
Although Taiwan is not attending the mega online meetings, the country has the global momentum on its side. Along with successfully and transparently managing the COVID crisis with just 7 reported deaths, Taiwan has also been sending medical equipment and aid around the world, showcasing its soft power.
Recent waves of Taiwan nationalism has also been troubling Xi, whose major politician plans include merger of Taiwan into China. With the world not on his side, Beijing’s plan looks in disarray, at least for the time being.