US Calls for Taiwan to join World Health Assembly in Opposition to China
Story Code : 931506
“There is no reasonable justification for Taiwan’s continued exclusion from this forum,” Blinken said in a statement calling on World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite the tiny island country to participate despite protests from China, The Hill reported.
“Global health and global health security challenges do not respect borders nor recognize political disputes,” Blinken continued.
“Taiwan offers valuable contributions and lessons learned from its approach to these issues, and WHO leadership and all responsible nations should recognize that excluding the interests of 24 million people at the WHA serves only to imperil, not advance, our shared global health objectives,” he added.
The statement builds on international calls and consensus from lawmakers in both the House and Senate to support Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO that establishes its annual global health agenda during the meeting.
Beijing opposes Taiwan participating in the WHO or WHA as an observer because it considers the island to be its sovereign territory, a stance Taipei rejects.
“The participation of China's Taiwan region in activities of international organizations, including the WHO, which consists of sovereign nations, must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Thursday, following a communique by foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G-7) that included support for Taiwan’s participation at the WHA.
The communique was released on Wednesday following the G-7 meeting in London and included participation by the US.
It stated, “We support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in World Health Organisation forums and the World Health Assembly. The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic.”