Home Asia Taiwan Requests WHO To Permit It To Attend All Its Sessions

Taiwan Requests WHO To Permit It To Attend All Its Sessions


Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has urged the World Health Organisation (WHO) to permit the island nation to attend all its meetings. He made this request ahead of the WHO’s World Health Assembly (WHA), a crucial summit Taiwan desires to attend.

The WHO ought to “let Taiwan fully participate in all the WHO’s meetings, activities and systems, to put into effect the WHO’s charter that health is a basic human right and achieve at an early date the ‘Health for All’ goal”, Wu told parliament.

Taiwan attended the WHA as an observer between 2009 and 2016. This was made possible by the historic trade and tourist agreements that then President Ma Ying-jeou signed with China. However, Beijing started obstructing Taiwan’s involvement after President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2017. It did so as she wouldn’t accept China’s stance that China and Taiwan both are parts of “one China”.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has said Taiwan could not attend the WHA owing to its “lack of a political basis”. On the other hand, Taiwan says Beijing has no authority to advocate for or represent Taiwan internationally.

Wu told reporters that Taiwan faced a “very high level of difficulty” in taking part in this year’s WHA. But he also said it was winning support from more and more countries for its bid to be invited this year.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

The WHA for this year begins on May 27, just one week after Taiwan’s President-elect Lai Ching-te takes charge. China has rejected Lai’s constant requests for negotiations as it views him as a “dangerous separatist” and despises him.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier this month that the country “strongly encourages” the WHO to restore Taiwan’s invitation.

Taiwan is barred from most international organisations due to concerns by China, which considers the democratically governed island its territory.

With inputs from Reuters