Taiwan hoping to receive invitation to WHA

2017/03/07 19:22:48 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, March 7 (CNA) Taiwan has indicated to the World Health Organization (WHO) that it hopes to attend the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) for the ninth consecutive year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

The WHA, the decision-making body of the WHO, is scheduled to take place in Geneva from May 22 to 31.

The Secretariat of the WHO usually starts to send invitations in March, but Foreign Minister David Lee (李大維) said a day earlier "it remains unclear" whether Taiwan will be able to attend this year's conference.

Ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said on Tuesday the ministry thanked the WHO for inviting Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer for the past eight years, as such participation allowed the nation to play an active role in the promotion of international medical care and the global fight against disease.

Taiwan's expertise in these areas has also won recognition from the international community, she added.

Wang said Taiwan is seeking the support of allies, countries that share the same ideals and related parties in its efforts to secure at invitation to the WHA.

She indicated that Taiwan remains in touch with the WHO and hopes to receive an invitation soon.

When the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party replaced the China-friendly Kuomintang to take the reins of the government in May 2016, Taiwan received a late invitation to attend the WHA that year.

However, that invitation contained an unexpected reference to United Nations Resolution No. 2758, passed on October 25, 1971, which recognizes the People's Republic of China as "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations" and expelled the representatives of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

There are concerns that Beijing might try to block the WHO's invitation to Taiwan again this year.

(By Scarlett Chai and Lilian Wu)
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