New Zealand supports Taiwan at WHO despite Chinese rebuke

Video credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on May 12, 2020 - Duration: 01:57s

New Zealand supports Taiwan at WHO despite Chinese rebuke

New Zealand's foreign minister on Tuesday said the country has to stand up for itself after China warned its backing of Taiwan's participation at the World Health Organization (WHO) could damage bilateral ties.

Libby Hogan reports.

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New Zealand supports Taiwan at WHO despite Chinese rebuke

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pushed back at China over Taiwan.

Beijing has warned that New Zealand's backing of Taiwan's participation at the WHO(World Health Organisation) could damage bilateral ties.

At a press conference on Tuesday (May 12) Ardern reiterated her government's support for the 'one China' principle which refers to the policy that there is only one Chinese government.

Taiwan is excluded from the WHO due to the objections of China which views the island as one of its provinces.

"Through a number of years we've always taken a 'one China' policy, and that is, continues to be the case.

.

.the world learned a lot from China's response, their use of a lockdown in Wuhan demonstrated their ability to control the spread of the virus in a way that probably saved a large number of lives.

Equally, a place like Taiwan has used some particular approaches that have demonstrated also success in their management." Last week, senior ministers in New Zealand said Taiwan should be allowed to join the WHO as an observer given its success in controlling the global health crisis.

On Tuesday (May 12) New Zealand foreign minister Winston Peters also praised Taiwan's response and said he did not think the issue should harm diplomatic ties with China - New Zealand's biggest trading partner.

"We have got to stand up for ourselves, and true friendship is based on equality.

It's based on the ability, in this friendship, to nevertheless disagree.

All we are saying is in having looked very carefully around the world, to find examples of how we might help internationally and locally our defeat of COVID-19.

Taiwan has been a standout society." In a statement, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry expressed thanks for New Zealand's support, and expressed regret at China's threats against New Zealand.

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