‘One China’ policy
- Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), is an island off the southern coast of China that has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949.
- China and Taiwan sharply disagree on the island’s status. While Taiwan’s government claims it is an independent country, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) asserts that there is only “one China” and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of it.
- The China-Taiwan Relations can be traced back to 1949 and the end of the Chinese civil war.
- The defeated Nationalists, also known as the Kuomintang, retreated to Taiwan and made it their seat of government while the victorious Communists began ruling the mainland as the People’s Republic of China.
- The island has since been run as a separate entity from mainland China, though Beijing never gave up its claim over Taiwan.
‘One China’ policy
- It is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China’s position that there is only one Chinese government. It acknowledges Taiwan being part of China and the PRC as the sole legitimate government of China.
- Any country that wants diplomatic relations with mainland China must break official ties with Taiwan. This has resulted in Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation from the international community.
- Taiwan now only has diplomatic relations with 15 countries, almost all small and developing nations like Nauru, Belize and Honduras.
Why in News?
- The U.S. has conveyed its support to confer observer status on Taiwan at the World Health Assembly (WHA) of the WHO.
- However, China opposed the U.S.’ stance claiming Taiwan as its province with no right to its own diplomatic representation on the global stage and in international organizations.
- The WHO recognised the People’s Republic of China as the “one legitimate representative of China”, in keeping with U.N. policy since 1971.
World Health Assembly
- The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States.
- The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.
- The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.
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