Wobbled by the double whammy of global outrage against China for its incriminating role in concealing the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak initially and the growing recognition of Taiwan for its transcendent handling of coronavirus crisis, bellicose Chinese diplomats across the world have resorted to trumpeting the hackneyed refrain of ‘One-China principle’ in a bid to influence the international discourse concerning Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organisation.
Replicating this obsession over the ‘One-China principle’, the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India, Ji Rong, today posted a series of tweets urging the Indian media organisations to take a “correct stance” on Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organisation’s activities.
Under One-China principle, China’s Central Government has made proper arrangement for the Taiwan region’s participation in global health affairs, which ensures the region can deal with local or global public health emergencies in a timely and effective manner. (2/4)— Ji Rong (@ChinaSpox_India) May 11, 2020
“China’s position on Taiwan region’s participation in WHO activities, including WHA is clear and consistent. It must be handled according to the One-China principle, ” Rong tweeted while trotting out banal claims that under ‘One-China principle’ the Chinese government has made proper arrangement for Taiwan region’s participation in the global health affairs that has ensured the region to deal with local and global emergencies in a timely and efficacious manner.
Amidst the raging coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan’s model to curb the spread of the virus and its friendly overtures with nations seeking its help to combat the scourge of COVID-19 is winning plaudits from across the globe. By contrast, China’s belligerent and opaque stance on coronavirus has attracted criticism from many countries who have now turned into coronavirus hotspots after the virus reportedly first emerged from the central Chinese town of Wuhan. Nations staggering under the pandemic are lauding Taiwan for its exceptional handling of the crisis and for being forthcoming in sharing their experiences with them.
To this end, many countries have advocated Taiwan’s inclusion in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). However, this has not sat well with the Chinese diplomats, who are trying all the diplomatic means at their disposal to dissuade governments and the local media from voicing support for Taiwan.
Consequently, the Spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in India, Rong alleged that the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan is using the issue of coronavirus to engage in political manipulation hyping-up the issue to extract advantage and seek “independence”, rather than caring about the health and welfare of the people in Taiwan.
We urge relevant Indian media take a correct stance on this issue & adhere to the One-China principle, a widely accepted universal consensus of the international community including the Indian government. (4/4)— Ji Rong (@ChinaSpox_India) May 11, 2020
Also, Rong urged the Indian Media to take a “correct stance” in adherence to “One-China principle”, which the Chinese diplomat claimed was a widely held consensus, including that by the Indian government.
Backlash against China building amongst coronavirus-hit nations
As the global backlash builds against China for its initial mishandling of the coronavirus crisis and its opacity about the pandemic, Taiwan is increasingly asserting its independence to undermine Beijing’s efforts to isolate the self-ruled democratic island that it claims as its own. With its remarkable success in taming the coronavirus so far, Taiwan is advocating itself as a model of democracy to try to undercut China’s propaganda campaign aimed to tout the supremacy of its autocratic governance.
Countries across the world who are reeling under the coronavirus crisis have recognised, appreciated and sought help from Taiwan to blunt the spread of contagion. The greater global recognition to Taiwan has given China the willies. It is now aggressively and combatively using its enormous heft to denounce countries recognising Taiwan and warning them of economic and diplomatic fallout should they continue to flout its “one-China” principle.
China’s rant against Indian newspapers
This is not the first time that Chinese diplomats have delivered a homily against Indian media organisations. Recently, the Chinese embassy in India censured an Indian newspaper ‘The Hindu’ for publishing an opinion piece penned by Taiwan’s health minister Chen Shih-Chung. In the article, Chen propounded Taiwan’s exemplary strategy in curbing the sinister spread of the contagion in the country.
Chen’s exhortations to include Taiwan into WHO was enough to raise the hackles of the Chinese Embassy in India counsellor Ji Rong who issued a strong-worded statement denouncing the Indian media outlet for disregarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by providing a platform to Taiwan’s health minister. Refuting the article that advocated “Taiwan’s participation in WHO”, the embassy asked the media organisation to adhere to the one-China principle and not provide a platform for “Taiwan independence” forces.
Before this, the Chinese embassy in India had slammed another Indian Newspaper The Times of India for interviewing Taiwan’s foreign minister. The interview of Taiwan’s foreign minister by an Indian daily was termed as defiance of its “internationally recognised one-China principle”. Restating China’s long-standing position on Taiwan’s participation in WHO, the Chinese Embassy in India Counselor Ji Rong exhorted the media organisation to recognise the gravity of the problem and refrain from providing a platform to “Taiwan independence” forces.