Excerpt of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on May 14, 2020

CCTV: We understand countries including Swaziland and Nicaragua have put forward to WHO a proposal on inviting Taiwan to attend this year's WHA as an observer. A few countries are doing everything they can to push for discussions of this proposal at the WHA. I wonder if China has a comment?

Zhao Lijian: The 73rd WHA will be held on May 18 to 19. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be virtual. According to WHO Executive Board consensus, this year's agenda will be significantly reduced to cover only essential items like the COVID-19 pandemic and Executive Board election. This reflects the shared sincere wish of member states to focus on international cooperation on COVID-19 at this WHA.

China opposes the so-called proposal by a few countries including Swaziland on inviting the Taiwan region to attend this WHA as an observer. The Taiwan region's participation in the WHA must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle. This is also a fundamental principle enshrined in UNGA Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1. Based on this principle, the Central Government of China has made proper arrangements for the Taiwan region's participation in global health affairs, which ensures that the region can promptly and effectively respond to local and global public health incidents. Therefore the region is by no means a so-called "gap" in global anti-epidemic efforts. The WHA has for many consecutive years rejected a handful of countries' proposals relating to the Taiwan region, demonstrating the shared international commitment to the one-China principle.

I would like to reiterate that the few countries who are insisting on discussing the proposal relating to the Taiwan region are only seeking to severely disrupt this WHA and undermine global anti-pandemic cooperation. The international community including China stands firmly against this.

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