Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) yesterday said the nation has filed an official complaint to express its “extraordinary outrage and dissatisfaction” regarding Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.
For the second consecutive year, Taiwan was not invited to attend the assembly, despite calls from several WHO member states to grant Taiwan observer or participant status.
The nation’s protest was delivered to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday, Chen told a news conference, adding that he signed the letter as the “Republic of China Minister of Health and Welfare.”
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
While he conveyed Taiwan’s well-wishes for this year’s assembly, he also expressed the “extraordinary outrage and dissatisfaction” of the Taiwanese government and its people, he said.
The letter said that the WHO’s decision stemmed from “blatant political interference,” he said.
The letter was more strongly worded than the one the government sent last year, which highlighted the nation’s contributions to global health and expressed its “dissatisfaction and disappointment,” he said.
The nation in 2016 protested the assembly’s usage of the name “Chinese Taipei” and conveyed its concerns that the WHO was acquiescing to Beijing’s “one China” principle, he said.
In related news, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that China’s obstruction of Taiwan’s participation in the WHA as an observer is unhelpful to cross-strait relations and is harmful to global disease prevention efforts.
She made the comments on Tuesday while meeting in Taipei with a delegation from the Taiwanese Association of America.
China’s “reckless behavior” does not benefit its global image, Tsai said.
“China not only interferes incessantly with our international participation, but also aggressively forces private companies around the world to change the way they refer to Taiwan,” Tsai said, urging China to immediately cease its harmful behavior.
Taiwanese are resolved to “join the world [community] and walk out onto the world [stage],” she added.
Taiwan has no intention of changing its friendly stance toward China, Tsai said, adding that while the nation would never return to its former confrontational ambitions, it also would never surrender to Chinese aggression.
The association serves an important role in spreading awareness about Taiwan and its challenges in the face of Chinese aggression, she said.
Dealing with foreign relations challenges would rely not only on government efforts, but on the efforts of individuals and private organizations as well, she said.
These efforts have been fruitful, she added, citing the inclusion last year of Taiwan in the US’ Global Entry Program and Washington’s passage of the Taiwan Travel Act this year.
Tsai praised the efforts of Taiwanese living in the US who have held news conferences, written to US senators and representatives, and traveled to Geneva to push for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.
Their efforts have resulted in a show of support from 172 US representatives and 13 senators, who sent letters to the WHO calling for Taiwan’s unconditional participation, she said.
Chen, who is leading a delegation to the sidelines of the assembly, would seek every opportunity to speak with world leaders about the nation’s healthcare professionals and the importance of its contributions to global health, she said.
“There is no room for failure in our foreign relations efforts. Strengthening Taiwan is the only path forward,” Tsai added.
‘FREEDOM WINE’: Taiwanese are empathetic of Australians, the president said, while lawmakers called on their constituents to drink Australian wine to show their support Taiwan would take action to back Australians at a time when they are “under tremendous pressure,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as tensions between Australia and China heated up. Taipei and Canberra have been mutually supportive in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in exchanging critical medical materials in the early stages, Tsai said, before chairing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei. Taiwan and Australia are like-minded nations, sharing the common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, while their economic and trade relations have also become close, she said. Canberra has been voicing support for Taiwan’s international
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as