new Delhi: China (China) remains a problem for the whole world including India. Even during the era of Coronavirus epidemic, he has not eluded his antics. Taiwan’s top diplomat in India, in a special conversation with ZEE NEWS affiliate channel WION, said that at a time when the whole world is fighting a war against Corona, China did not leave any chance to harass Taiwan.
Acting Ambassador of Taiwan, Jack CH Chen said, ‘China has also seen the epidemic as an opportunity to expand its military presence in the South and East China Sea’. Speaking on Indo-Taiwan relations, the diplomat said that due to the joint effort of Taiwan and India in fighting the epidemic, both will become strong partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
On Taiwan’s WHO membership, Chen said, ‘We hope that as the new chairman of the WHO Executive Board, India will help ensure that the WHO Secretariat takes a professional, neutral stance when considering issues related to Taiwan’s participation. Maintain ‘.
WION: China has attempted to change the current situation by sending its military aircraft and ships to Taiwan’s air and maritime zone, amid the COVID-19 epidemic. How do you see it?
Jack Ch Chen: Chinese attempts to intimidate Taiwan never stopped. He continues to send military aircraft and ships to encircle Taiwan and provoke us. However, during the Corona epidemic, the situation has worsened. The activation of Chinese warships and ships has increased significantly. Furthermore, while the entire world, including the US, is focused on tackling the epidemic, China is increasing its military presence in the South and East China Sea. His fighter aircraft and Coast Guard ship are circling the area. This move by Beijing has increased the tension in the region. China’s action is not only detrimental to the positive development of cross-strait relations, but also poses a serious threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and Indo-Pacific region.
China should be more transparent keeping in mind the global epidemic. It should agree on an independent, international investigation and work closely with the international community to understand and deal with the origin of the virus. Taiwan strives to protect values such as democracy and freedom and works towards regional peace and stability. The international community has also praised us for this. Taiwan will never come under pressure. We will make more efforts to protect our sovereignty, ensure our national interests and reach the international community. We will strengthen relations with like-minded countries, become part of international organizations, so that we can make more tangible contributions to the international community.
WION: Is there a possibility of increased cooperation between Taiwan and India amid the COVID-19 crisis?
Jack Ch Chen: The global epidemic has exposed the dangers that come with dependence on one or just a few sources of vital components. In the post-epidemic era, we will likely see a restructuring of the global supply chain. In addition to focusing on capacity building, Taiwan and India should carefully evaluate our position in the global supply chain after the epidemic and plan a strong partnership.
Taiwan and India are natural business and industrial partners. Taiwan excels in hardware manufacturing, while India’s valor is rooted in software development. There is a lot of potential for long-term cooperation between the two countries. Keeping the epidemic in mind, India has stepped up its Make in India campaign to improve the economy and attract foreign investment. Under this, India has made a big effort towards attracting Taiwanese businesses. We are happy to see that India is continuing to improve its investment environment, due to this Taiwanese businessmen are getting the benefit of expanding investment in India. Taiwan and India are both democratic countries and share values such as freedom, democracy, rule of law and defense of human rights. In the last few years, our nations have made considerable progress towards cooperation in areas such as trade and investment. Meanwhile, the epidemic has helped us identify new areas for future collaboration, including e-commerce, online interactions, and biochemical technology. We hope that through a joint effort after the epidemic, Taiwan and India will become strong partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
WION: India will now chair the executive board of WHO. Does Taiwan have any hope from India’s new role?
Jack Ch Chen: First of all, Taiwan congratulates India for its new role as Chairman of the Executive Board of WHO. Secondly I would like to say that WHO, as an important international organization, should welcome the participation of all stakeholders including Taiwan. We hope that as the new Chairman of the Executive Board of the WHO, India will help ensure that the WHO Secretariat takes a professional, neutral approach when considering issues related to Taiwan’s involvement. Such as granting Taiwan observer status in the World Health Assembly as well as ensuring its participation in WHO meetings, mechanisms and activities. This will help ensure the health and well-being of people in Taiwan and around the world.
WION: Are you confident that Taiwan will one day become a member of WHO?
Jack Ch Chen: Taiwan did not receive an invitation to the 2020 WHA held in May due to Chinese interference and the WHO’s failure to play a professional and impartial role. Other countries have seen China’s undue influence on international organizations and publicly expressed support for Taiwan. This year has seen widespread support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, indicating that the world recognizes the importance of Taiwan’s participation in the WHO. This is encouraging for Taiwan and we believe that the more we get international support, the more we will progress towards our goal.
Taiwan’s claim to join international organizations, including the WHO, has always been based on professional, practical and creative principles. At present, our aim is to achieve WHA observer status and to be fully involved in WHO meetings, activities and mechanisms. The whole world has praised the Taiwanese model in the fight with COVID-19. After catering to our domestic needs, we selflessly started providing essential medical supplies to more than 80 countries. We have shown the world that Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping.
WION: Do you think that China did not handle the COVID-19 crisis correctly?
Jack Ch Chen: This is not new for China. In 2003, China hid the outbreak of SARS and delayed in informing the world about it. When the Corona infection came to light in Wuhan in December last year, it remained unknown. Even within China, there was no transparency on this issue. As a result, the world could not take effective steps to deal with it in the initial stages. If China had given information about the corona in due course of time, it could have been prevented from becoming a global epidemic.
Unlike China, at the end of December 2019, Taiwan began sharing information on related matters on the Internet and immediate steps were taken to understand the seriousness of the situation. Our officials informed WHO’s IHR focal point in this regard on 31 December. We asked the WHO to take note of the fact that patients with symptoms of atypical pneumonia in Wuhan City are being isolated for treatment.
If China and the WHO had alerted governments around the world in time, perhaps Corona could have been prevented from wreaking havoc. Due to the Corona epidemic, while China has lost the trust of other countries, the world has increased confidence in Taiwan. Because we immediately informed the WHO in this regard as soon as the virus was detected and controlled the corona outbreak in Taiwan. Our efforts show that democratic countries are capable of combating the virus in an open, honest and transparent manner.