Amid the fast spread of the Chinese virus across the globe, India is pushing for Taiwan at the World Health Assembly meeting as an observer nation. Taiwan has been widely praised for successfully tackling the Coronavirus pandemic through democratic means.
The WHO will meet on May 18 to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic. It will hold a vote to determine whether to grant observer status to Taiwan at the WHA, its decision-making body.
According to reports, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has participated in marathon talks with counterparts in the US, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Vietnam since March 20 against the backdrop of the international community debating on Taiwan’s presence at the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer.
The Indian Express reports, India’s recent talks with US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, who are signatories to a demarche, urging the World Health Organisation (WHO) to allow Taiwan to be admitted as an observer because its input will be “meaningful and important” has rattled China.
China is opposing the move as the US leads a group of powerful countries — all members of the UN Security Council except Russia — to support Taiwan’s claim.
The Indian Express report says, on the weekly phone conversations among the seven countries, the Ministry of External Affairs said the idea is “to share ideas and best practices among these countries in the Indo-Pacific region for responding to the unique and complex challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
In an interview to The Hindu, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said the country has proposed a regular communication channel with India to link up medical agencies to better cooperate in the fight against COVID-19. He said Taiwan’s sharing of information on COVID-19 with countries had been limited by its arrangement with the World Health Organisation.
Meanwhile, Ji Rong, spokesperson of Chinese Embassy in India, said in a series of tweets that China's position on Taiwan's participation in WHO is clear and consistent. She also urged to uphold the One China principle, and said that Taiwan is never excluded from WHO global anti-COVID19 system.