China Escalates War of Words with New Zealand and Formally Reprimands Jacinda Ardern for Supporting Taiwan’s Offer to Join the World Health Organization
- New Zealand has supported calls for Taiwan to join the World Health Organization
- China claims Taiwan is under its jurisdiction and is against the move
- Beijing’s Foreign Ministry struck a formal reprimand in New Zealand on Tuesday
- Here’s how you can help people affected by Covid-19
China has formally reprimanded New Zealand for its support for Taiwan, which is rejoining the World Health Organization, and is escalating a diplomatic feud.
Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said Beijing “regrets and opposes” New Zealand’s position as one of many countries, including Australia, to support Taiwan’s return to WHO.
New Zealand supports Taiwan’s right to contribute to the success of COVID-19 at next week’s World Health Assembly, joining major allies, including the United States.
Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said Beijing regrets and thwarts New Zealand’s position as one of many countries – including Australia – to support Taiwan’s return to the WHO
Taiwan’s membership in the WHO has become a front in a geopolitical battle between the US and China, which claims that Taiwan is under its jurisdiction.
Mr Zhao said that New Zealand’s position was a serious violation of the One China Principle, which “was the fundamental foundation of the progress made in bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties.”
“China urges New Zealand to adhere strictly to the One-China Principle and to immediately stop its wrongdoing on Taiwan-related issues to avoid damaging bilateral relations,” he said.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who postponed comments on the matter for days saying that she was focused on her country’s response to COVID-19, emphasized New Zealand’s support for the one-China policy, but said the world should be able to ‘acquire’ knowledge. from Taiwan to the global health agency.
“Likewise, the world has learned a lot from China’s response,” she said.
Using a lockdown in Wuhan showed that they were able to control the spread of the virus in ways that likely saved many lives.
“Likewise, a place like Taiwan has taken a number of specific approaches that have also proved successful in their management.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern emphasized New Zealand’s support for the one-China policy, but said the world should be able to “gather” that knowledge from Taiwan to the global health agency
Kiwi Secretary of State Winston Peters spoke loudly last week, telling the Chinese ambassador to Wellington to “listen to her master” in response to other criticisms.
On Tuesday, Mr. Peters compared New Zealand’s position to a famous 1970s confrontation with France.
“The Kirk government placed a frigate in the Pacific to protest French nuclear tests,” he said.
“We have not taken back our responsibility for our neighborhood and I dare say it to humanity.
“We have to stand up for ourselves and true friendship is based on equality.”
The feud in New Zealand comes as China moved to suspend selected Australian beef imports and place an 80-cent rate on Australian barley in a separate barney.