BEIJING: China berated New Zealand on Monday (May 11) for its support for Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organization (WHO), saying the country should “stop making wrong statements” on the issue to avoid damaging bilateral ties.
Taiwan, with the strong support of the United States, has stepped up its lobbying to be allowed to take part as an observer at next week’s World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decision-making body, to China’s anger.
Taiwan is excluded from the WHO due to the objections of China, which views the island as one of its provinces. Taiwan says this has created a dangerous gap in the COVID-19 fight, and has accused the WHO of bending to Chinese pressure.
New Zealand’s finance and foreign ministers last week backed a role for the Taiwan at the WHO.
Speaking at a daily news conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said New Zealand’s comments were a severe violation of the “one China” principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China.
“We express our strong dissatisfaction with the statements and resolutely oppose it, and we have already made stern representations with New Zealand,” Zhao said.
The “one China” principle is the political foundation of China and New Zealand’s relationship, he added.