Taiwan persists in efforts to secure WHA invite

2018/04/10 18:14:21 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮)/CNA file photo

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮)/CNA file photo

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) The government will not give up its quest to secure an invitation to this year's World Health Assembly (WHA), despite the World Health Organization's (WHO's) partiality toward China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.

According to a MOFA report, foreign minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) outlined the actions the government is undertaking to obtain an invitation to the 71st WHA in Geneva in May.

According to the report, the WHO favors China in this regard.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in 2016, China has been stepping up its efforts to suppress Taiwan in the international arena because Tsai refuses to acknowledge the 1992 consensus that previously served as the foundation of Taiwan-China relations.

Despite the WHO's position, however, the government is asking its diplomatic allies to send proposals to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asking for Taiwan to be invited to the assembly as an observer.

This, according to the report, is the second stage in Taiwan's three-stage plan, the first of which was to attempt to secure an invite on its own.

As of April 7, many of Taiwan's allies had submitted proposals on its behalf, although MOFA has declined to specify which countries these are.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) previously said that the government will continue to seek an invitation until the start of this year's WHA, which runs from May 21-26.

If Taiwan ends up not being invited again, Chen will nonetheless head a delegation to Geneva during the WHA to host bilateral talks with countries attending the assembly.

This will be stage three of the plan, which overall aims to ensure that Taiwan's medical skills and contributions are seen internationally and that its demands to participate in international events in the field are being heard.

A source familiar with the matter told CNA in late March that Ghebreyesus is known to be friendly toward China and often cites the "one China" principle and United Nations Resolution No. 2758 as reasons for not inviting Taiwan to the assembly.

The U.N. resolution, passed Oct. 25, 1971, recognized 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).

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Kuan-lin Liu)
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