China urged not to obstruct Taiwan’s international engagements

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Saturday that China should not thwart Taiwan’s efforts to participate in international organizations, on the basis of political factors.

Such actions would hurt the interests and feelings of the Taiwan people and would be counterproductive to improved relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, said the MAC, the Taiwan government agency responsible for dealing with cross-strait affairs.

Taiwan has the right to take part in international activities with dignity, the MAC said, commenting on a report that Tseng Min-chieh (曾敏傑), chairman of the non-governmental Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders, was barred from participating in a U.N.-affiliated meeting in New York the previous day due to China’s obstruction.

Beijing should respect the Taiwanese non-governmental organization’s contribution and its efforts to promote global cooperation on the treatment of rare diseases, the MAC said.

It cautioned that if China reverts to a confrontational approach, it will not be conducive to the improvement of the relations between the two sides.

Peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations can only be achieved if the two sides can settle their differences through communication, goodwill and mutual respect, while jointly safeguarding the interests and welfare of their people, MAC said.

Tseng was scheduled to give a keynote speech Friday at the Global Gathering for Rare Diseases: Inaugurating the NGO Committee for Rare Diseases, and explain how Taiwan can contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On Friday morning, however, China protested to the committee against Taiwan’s participation, according to the Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders.

As a result, Robert Hejdenberg, president of the rare disorder center Ågrenska Sweden, informed Tseng that he would not be allowed into the venue, the foundation said.

The foundation said it was disappointed that Taiwan could not be represented at the event even though it had received an invitation from the committee in September.

Taiwan was prepared to keep a low profile at the meeting to avoid obstruction by China, the foundation said.

Cross-strait relations have cooled since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office May 20, due mainly to China’s insistence that the “1992 consensus” must remain the political foundation for the development of cross-strait exchanges, and the Tsai administration’s reluctance to accept that.

The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between China and Taiwan, under the then Kuomintang government, that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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