Taiwan Says China Tries to Suffocate the Island
Beijing views the self-ruled island as a breakaway province which must eventually be reunified with the mainland, by force if necessary. It opposes Taipei's participation in most international organisations.
"Taiwan urges the international community to advise China not to repeatedly increase the tension in the region by trying to suffocate Taiwan on the international stage," Joseph Wu, head of the cabinet's Mainland Affairs Council, told a news conference.
Wu said Beijing had angered the island's 23 million people by blocking its bid for observer status at the World Health Organisation's annual assembly for a ninth straight year.
But he said Taiwan would act like a responsible member of the international community to pursue dialogue with China, and urged Beijing to deal with the government of President Chen Shui-bian.
"We do not take any countermeasures against China because we feel that the improvement of the cross-Strait relations lies not in Taiwan's countermeasures, but lies in Taiwan's sincere effort in improving the cross-Strait relations," Wu said.
Beijing has sought to isolate independence-minded Chen with divide-and-conquer tactics, offering economic concessions in gestures of goodwill after leaders of opposition parties met President Hu Jintao in recent weeks.
"We are waiting for China to send out positive signals so that we can have political dialogue with China. But so far, we have seen no positive gestures," Wu said.
"We will continue to wait for China to express clearly that they are ready to deal with Taiwan pragmatically."
Taiwan, which is only recognised by 26 states in the world, said its exclusion from the WHO could undermine the international fight against contagious diseases, such as bird flu, and said it was unfair for it to be left out of a global health network that advocates "health for all" and "medical services for all people".
China says only sovereign states are entitled to take part in the assembly, which is meeting until May 25. Taiwan first sought observer status at the WHO in 1997.