Thursday, May 14, 2020

Canada fudges its chance to internationally recognize Taiwan

For the first time in an age, there are moves afoot to rehabilitate Taiwan's position on the world stage, specifically to include the country as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), despite the strenuous objections of China, which considers Taiwan to be merely a wayward province of the greater One China.
Among many other countries, the USA is on board, and Canada is also on board, at least in principle. However, Canada was the only one of the countries calling for Taiwan's involvement in the WHA to qualify its statement by saying that it welcomes Taiwan's role in the meetings "as a non-state observer".
You could say that this is merely Canada being cautious and diplomatic in its relations with China. Or you could say that this is Canada being mealy-mouthed and missing a prime opportunity to advance the cause of brave little Taiwan's cause in the face of big bully brother China's continued insistance on its One China policy, a contention that Canada has apparently been happy to support since 1971.

It seems like the moment has now passed, and Taiwan were not actually invited to the WHA meeting. In doing so, WHO digs themselves still further into the big hole of soft-on-China allegations, and Taiwan returns to the wilderness of exclusion after an all-too-brief glimpse of another possible world.

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