Amazingly, the WHO rejected Taiwan’s bid to enter it. After all, it had only been ten years in a row….

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) lodged a protest yesterday with the World Health Organization Secretariat over its rejection of Taiwan’s application for WTO membership this year.

Taiwan’s bid to join the WHO is not an issue that can be decided or rejected by the secretariat or any individual working for the organization, Chen argued while addressing a workshop held in Taipei yesterday to explore Taiwan’s bid to join the WHO under the name of “Taiwan.”

The president said he filed the formal complaint with the WHO on behalf of the government and the 23 million people in Taiwan.

Taiwan is a sovereign state, whose 23 million people are empowered to apply to join in the WHO’s activities based on their collective human rights, Chen contended.

Taiwan is focusing too many resources on high profile campaigns that ultimately are losers, and not enough on building broad support and interacting with the populations of the member nations whose good opinions it needs. What it really needs is stuff in the media in the US and elsewhere every week, written by those canny and perceptive foreigners working in MOFA and TECRO, who understand the audience at home and know which emotional buttons to push.

On the good news front, Taiwan actually did something amazing: it briefed the US in advance of its torch decision. Clearly someone in the local Administration has discovered that while the US can tolerate disagreement, it hates surprises….

The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s top policymaking agency on cross-strait affairs, slammed the route arrangement as“unacceptable” on grounds Beijing explicitly painted the torch’s passage in Taiwan as part of the“domestic” leg.

The government meanwhile conveyed its discontent to the White House through the American Institute in Taiwan’s Taipei office and its representative office in the US, according to the CNA.

The unnamed US official agreed that the torch route smacked of politicking and indicated the administration would not comment on the issue when asked to, the CNA added.


It is good to see Taiwan for once acting sensibly and cautiously in the context of its most important international relationship.