Tue, May 24, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan’s, China’s delegations at WHA yet to meet

Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien, center, attends the annual World Health Assembly conference in Geneva yesterday.

Photo: CNA

An encounter between Taiwanese and Chinese delegations at the World Health Assembly (WHA) had not taken place as of at press time yesterday as Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延), who is heading the Taiwanese delegation, entered the Palace of Nations in Geneva for the opening of the conference.

Lin has said he would not go out of his way to arrange a meeting with the head of the Chinese delegation, but would greet him if the opportunity arose.

Li Bin (李斌), head of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, on Sunday did not respond to media queries on whether there would be any exchanges with the Taiwanese delegation.

The two delegations to the WHA conference, which opened at 9:30am yesterday, attracted attention because of the change of government in Taiwan and a controversy over the wording of the invitation to Taiwan this year.

For the first time since 2009, the invitation for Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer mentioned UN Resolution 2758, WHA Resolution 25.1 and the “one China” principle underlying the two documents.

Lin declined to respond to media queries on Sunday when asked about reports that he had been assigned to deliver a letter of protest to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (陳馮富珍) on the government’s behalf over the wording of the invitation.

Taiwanese civic groups on Sunday staged a protest near the venue of the WHA, calling for Taiwan to be made a full WHO member and to take part in all activities at the WHA conference.

Taiwan has been attending the WHA as an observer since 2009 under the name of Chinese Taipei, but can only attend the general assembly, Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance executive director Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said, adding that it was time Taiwan gained full membership.

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