In response to the World Health Organization denying Taiwanese news outlets access to its annual decision-making assembly, apparently to comply with demands by China, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The WHO’s action is the latest in a series of capitulations by international agencies and private businesses to China’s censorship requirements,” said Arch Puddington, distinguished scholar for democracy studies at Freedom House. “The United Nations and its agencies were established to protect and expand freedom of the press, not to feebly acquiesce to press freedom’s curtailment. Likewise, the American government should actively object when U.S. corporations are subject to intimidation by authorities in Beijing for listing Taiwan as a sovereign state. The world’s leading democracies and its principal international entities have too often failed to stand firm against these kinds of pressure tactics, so China is only increasing its bullying of those who don’t share its worldview. It’s time to change that trajectory.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.