Medical peace corps is barred from int’l mission over ‘one China’ policy

The Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps (TRMPC, 台灣路竹會) has been blocked from carrying out a medical mission abroad on the basis of the “one China” policy.
TRMPC was scheduled to head to Kyrgyzstan for a medical mission from July 23 to Aug. 1. No problems arose during a survey trip ahead of the mission and negotiations, yet the TRMPC stated that Kyrgyzstan’s foreign ministry had recently rejected the application.
Kyrgyzstan’s decision was based on its belief that Taiwan is a part of mainland China and on the country’s adherence to the “one China” policy.
The peace corps’ president, Liu Chi-chun, expressed shock and dismay over the news, local media reported. Attempting to explain the magnitude of the situation, Liu said that for the 21 years since it was founded, missions were specifically tied to humanitarian aid and medical assistance, and had never been politicized.
It is the corps’ first time being rejected due to “extreme political positions” such as the “one China” policy, Liu said. Reiterating his disbelief and disappointment, he said the mission team would instead reallocate its resources and head to Sri Lanka.
Local partners in Sri Lanka have sought assistance from the TRMPC due to a recent flooding disaster and landslides, which claimed the lives of around 100 people.
Liu stated that plans to head to Kyrgyzstan were the idea of volunteers who knew physicians in the country. Kyrgyzstan’s doctors said that their country lacked the necessary medical resources in rural villages and required humanitarian assistance from external sectors.
Further discussions were carried out through a local doctor in Kyrgyzstan, along with her husband and a non-governmental organization.
In early May, members ranging from doctors to volunteers affiliated with the TRMPC headed to the country’s rural regions to make arrangements.
The small team of volunteers also visited the local government, and came to an agreement to allow the mission take place.
In late May, mainland China external affairs chief Wang Yi met with Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldayev Azerbaijan. “China and Kyrgyzstan are truly good neighbors, good partners and good friends,” read a press release of the meeting on mainland China’s external affairs agency’s website, saying it had high respect for Kyrgyzstan’s adherence to the “one China” policy.
Kyrgyzstan’s barring of TRMPC’s application is not an isolated case, though local media has said the rejection is the first to involve another country expressing strong political inclinations.
Earlier this week, local media outlets broadcast news that the organizers of the Guangzhou choral event had canceled their invitation for a Taiwanese children’s choir, the Puzangalan Choir, to perform at the event on July 20.
The organizers informed the choir of the cancellation one week after the children sang the R.O.C. anthem at President Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration.
The choir comprises children from the Paiwan tribe in Southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County. President Tsai decided to donate NT$500,000 from her book royalty revenue to help support the choir’s trip to Hungary for a choir competition after learning of the matter.

Source: China Post