Taiwan Blasts China's 'Shameless Lies' After Beijing Claims Nobody Cares More About Taiwanese

Taiwan's foreign minister on Tuesday criticized China for issuing "shameless lies" amid an ongoing dispute about Beijing blocking Taiwan from participating in the World Health Organization (WHO).

Last week, the United States and Group of Seven (G7) nations called for Taiwan's "meaningful participation" in the WHO and World Health Assembly (WHA), which will meet on May 24.

But China, which continues to recognize the island as one of its provinces and not a democratically-independent country, has previously blocked Taiwan from participating in most global organizations, including the WHO.

In response to the G7 request, China's foreign ministry said Monday that "appropriate arrangements" have been made for Taiwan's participation in global health matters outside of joining the WHO. The ministry also claimed that nobody cared for Taiwan's people more than the Chinese government, prompting swift criticisms from the island.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying added that "Taiwan compatriots are our flesh and blood. The Chinese central government takes all necessary measures to ensure the health and well-being of the Taiwan compatriots," according to Reuters.

In response, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu took to Twitter on Tuesday to slam Beijing.

"Shameless lies! Just goes to show the CCP can't tell the truth," Wu said, referring to China's ruling Communist Party.

"After what Beijing has done to Xinjiang, Tibet & Hong Kong, no sane person would believe it could take care of Taiwan's health needs or otherwise," Wu added. "Thank God we aren't under China's control! Please help us keep it at a distance."

Taiwan foreign minister
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu slammed Beijing on Tuesday for issuing "shameless lies" over its concern for Taiwanese people, after China blocked the country from joining the WHO. Here, Wu gestures during a press conference in Taipei on May 1, 2018. SAM YEH/Getty Images

Wu added that China's government had no authority to speak for Taiwan, as the island is run by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), a democratically-elected government body.

Tensions between Taiwan and China have increased in the past several months following pledges from Chinese President Xi Jinping to reintegrate Taiwan into China through either diplomacy or force. Furthermore, a sharp increase in People's Liberation Army activity through airspace claimed by Taiwan has caused concern on the island that Beijing may be gearing up for an invasion.

The G7 last week urged Beijing to refrain from further increasing tensions in the East and South China Seas amid ongoing escalations with Taiwan.

"We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues," it said. "We reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-based order and express serious concerns about reports of militarization, coercion, and intimidation in the region."

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there is no "reasonable justification for Taiwan's continued exclusion" from the upcoming WHA, further solidifying an ongoing friendly relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan.

"Taiwan is a reliable partner, a vibrant democracy, and a force for good in the world, and its exclusion from the WHA would be detrimental to our collective international efforts to get the pandemic under control and prevent future health crises," Blinken added. "We urge Taiwan's immediate invitation to the World Health Assembly."

According to a statement from the WHO previously given to Newsweek, Taiwan could be added into the WHA "through a resolution or decision adopted by a simple majority of its 194 Members."

However, according to Reuters, China could likely gather enough countries to support blocking Taiwan from joining the organization—a prospect that would further increase tensions in the region.

Newsweek contacted Taiwan's ministry of foreign affairs for additional comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.