No invitation to Taiwan for the WHA meeting was a foregone conclusion with DG WHO loyal to Beijing. The probe into the origin of COVID-19 may peter out with China having destroyed the evidence in Wuhan, writes Lt Gen P. C. Katoch (retd) for South Asia Monitor
Despite the majority world acknowledging Taiwan’s sterling performance in combating COVID-19 and support for inclusion in the World Health Assembly (WHA) deliberations for useful contributions in chalking out global response to fight the virus, Taiwan was not invited. This was anticipated with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General World Health Organisation (WHO) playing China’s stooge. Tedros fully backed China’s virus-related actions. This too was expected because he had to cover his own fault in delaying declaring the pandemic causing thousands of avoidable casualties in countries without advance warning.
At the WHA, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of complete transparency and providing financial support to WHO and countries fighting COVID-19. He submitted to an international probe into the origin of COVID-19 demanded by over 60 nations but with the cliché “China supports review when the crisis is over” – when would it be over? Xi had earlier admitted that “initial samples” of the virus were destroyed fearing leak – read all evidence in Wuhan’s P4 lab is destroyed after PLA took control in January. This obviously was after China banned travel by even bus into or out of its major cities but encouraged international flights to seed the virus abroad. Under a global scanner, Xi chaired a Politburo meet and revised COVID-19 casualties figures of China, but these too appear false with recent database leak from the National University of Defense Technology in Changsha City revealing 640,000 infected cases (instead of 84,000 reported officially) in 230 cities giving locations.
Republic of China (Taiwan) was a founding member of the United Nations established on October 24, 1945, and held the seat of what is now with Peoples Republic of China (PRC) China on the Security Council and other UN bodies as late as 1971. In fact, UN Resolution 505 passed on February 1, 1952, judged Chinese communists rebels against Taiwan. But Taiwan was expelled from UNSC and other UN bodies under Resolution 2758 passed on October 25, 1971, at the behest of the Peoples Republic of China and replaced by the latter. China was permitted despite invading and annexing Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, 45 million Chinese killed in Mao’s Great Leap (1958-1962) and China’s ongoing Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) that eventually killed 20 million Chinese.
Where was the morality of nuclear power countries like the US, USSR, France, and the UK in expelling Taiwan, which was the founding member of the UN and active UN member for 26 years? Even if China was to be admitted, there was no reason to expel Taiwan from the UN. USSR remained mum despite China engaging Soviet Russia in a seven-month war since March 1969 and thereafter China’s anti-Soviet activities by the ‘Gang of Four’ under Mao’s tutelage. Ironically, America too facilitated China- Taiwan switch in UN because Nixon-Kissinger was cozying up to Beijing, the upshot of which the US reaps now with China’s biological attack. Nixon even believed Mao’s 1972 assurance that China will not attack Taiwan. Readmitting Taiwan in the UN as a full member will be righting this wrong overruling China’s objections.
No invitation to Taiwan for the WHA meeting was a foregone conclusion with DG WHO loyal to Beijing. The probe into the origin of COVID-19 may peter out with China having destroyed the evidence in Wuhan. But the wrong done to Taiwan in expelling it from the United Nations in 1971 without a whimper from nuclear-power countries like the US, USSR, France, and the UK needs to be reversed. The P-5 right to veto too requires serious debate by UNGA since its primary aim to promote international stability has miserably failed.
The veto power for permanent UNSC members came about when P-5 (China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US) insisted without veto there can be no charter for the UN. The main aim behind the veto was unity for promoting international stability. But behind this was the aim of big powers to protect their own sovereign rights and individual national interests. Latter has unfortunately taken precedence. International stability is passé with no UN approval or unity required to invade/attack another country. Big powers continue to attack at will and use proxy forces indiscriminately. The UN is ineffective in stopping the war, ruling on war crimes, and mostly useless against even notable human rights abuses by big powers and by countries under their wings for strategic reasons. In addition, UN bodies are prone to infiltration by radicals and some officials susceptible to bribes. This has increased the ineffectiveness of the UN.
How does the world deal with a P-5 gone rogue? Take for example China, who may go scot-free despite initiating WW III with the biological attack. China has no respect for the territory and it developed Pakistan and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as its nuclear proxies while big powers looked away. China claims ownership of islands in the South China Sea and Senkaku Islands and is adopting aggressive postures despite protests from Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and other countries. China is indulging in violence at sea in the waters of others and is demonstratively practicing invasion of Taiwan. China is in illegal occupation of large tracts of Indian territory, claims more, and is muscle-flexing against India.
China recently claimed Mount Everest and surrounding areas in Nepal, while its state-run media claims Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan as Chinese territory. Professor Zheng Qiang of ZIU University is teaching students that East Turkestan (in Kazakhstan) and Tibet (occupied by China) are crucial for Chinese to be rich in the next 100 years and losing control means losing China’s future. China’s nefarious designs and territorial greed is clearly expanding, as visible from the Belt and Road Initiative, territorial muscle-flexing, and post COVID-19 economic and threats to multiple countries. China has now put the city of Shulan under Wuhan-style lockdown after fresh COVID-19 cases. This could be because of the P-4 leak in December 2019 or considering China’s ambiguity and deceit perhaps a ruse post the WHA meet to deflect China’s culpability in originating COVID-19. UNGA needs to seriously debate the issue of veto and its misuse.
(The writer is an Indian Army veteran. The views expressed are personal)