Tue, Apr 24, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Moy reaffirms US’ support for Taiwan at WHA

Staff writer, with CNA

American Institute in Taiwan Director Kin Moy speaks at the opening of a medical workshop in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Kin Moy yesterday reiterated the US’ long-standing support for Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the annual World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decisionmaking body.

“The United States continues to support Taiwan’s meaningful and substantive contributions to the international community,” Moy said at the opening of an enterovirus laboratory diagnosis workshop being held in Taipei under the US-Taiwan Global Cooperation and Training Framework.

“We were disappointed that Taiwan did not receive an invitation to observe the WHA last year, but remain committed to advancing our close cooperation with Taiwan across the spectrum of public health issues,” he said.

The US has consistently supported Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the annual assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, and in technical meetings, Moy said.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) told workshop attendees that infectious diseases do not recognize borders, and outbreaks can spread rapidly, endangering people anywhere and everywhere around the world.

That is why it is important that Taiwan participates in next month’s WHA, so that it can be included in the international response system to outbreaks of infectious disease and share its expertise in those areas, Chen said.

The government has not yet received an invitation to attend the 71st WHA, which is to be held from May 21 to May 26.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) has said that the chances of Taiwan obtaining an invitation to this year’s event appear even slimmer than last year, but the government is doing everything it can to make it possible.

Taiwan attended WHA meetings as an observer under the name Chinese Taipei from 2009 to 2016 with the help of the US and China’s consent.

China blocked the WHO’s invitation to Taiwan for last year’s WHA as part of Beijing’s hardline stance against President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for her position on cross-strait ties.

Despite being excluded from the WHA session, Taiwan sent a delegation to Geneva to meet with officials from WHO member nations on the sidelines of the assembly.

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