Tags: China | Coronavirus | who | taiwan | hong kong | tong | pandemic

WHO Official Hangs Up on Reporter's Taiwan Question

WHO spokesman Bruce Aylward speaks to the media
WHO spokesman Bruce Aylward (AP)

By Saturday, 04 April 2020 09:08 AM Current | Bio | Archive

As Taiwan emerges as one of the front-and-center fighters in the international effort to defeat coronavirus, questions are mounting as to why the island-nation is denied membership in the World Health Organization.

Last week, a correspondent from Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) asked WHO spokesman Bruce Aylward whether Taiwan would be considered for membership in the United Nations-run health organization.

Aylward hung up on her — on live television.

The incident has become a social media sensation as a topic of discussion worldwide.  On RTHK's series "The Pulse" — roughly Hong Kong's equivalent of "60 Minutes" — an episode focused on how the coronavirus was affecting New York, London, and Lombardy, Italy.

At one point in the program, prize-winning reporter and producer Yvonne Tong cited how the virus was dealt with in Taiwan — which declared an emergency when news of the virus broke and has had only 325 cases out of 23.78 million people.

Given that record, she asked Aylward, should the WHO reconsider Taiwan's bid for membership. The People's Republic of China has long opposed letting Taiwan become a member of the WHO.

Aylward, assistant director-general of WHO, claimed he did not hear the question. When Tong offered to repeat it, he said "let's move to another one then." But Tong was adamant on inquiring about Taiwan. Aylward was then either disconnected or hung up.

A determined Tong redialed and restarted the video call. When she again asked about Taiwan, Aylward replied "Well, we've already talked about China" and then ended the interview.

Within days of the exchange, Junius Ho, a pro-Beijing member of the Hong Kong legislature, denounced Tong's question as dangerous. Edward Yau, Hong Kong's secretary of commerce and economic development, told reporters RTHK had breached its charter obligations to "[promote] understanding of the concept of 'One Country, Two Systems.'"

Newsmax invited Tong to discuss her celebrated question and exchange with Aylward.

"I'm afraid we're not taking any interviews at the moment," she emailed us. "Thank you for watching and for your interest in 'The Pulse.'"

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
John-Gizzi
As Taiwan emerges as one of the front-and-center fighters in the international effort to defeat coronavirus, questions are mounting as to why the island-nation is denied membership in the World Health Organization.
who, taiwan, hong kong, tong, pandemic, world health organization
357
2020-08-04
Saturday, 04 April 2020 09:08 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved