Fri, May 16, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Chen urges China not to obstruct bid

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday urged China to stop obstructing Taiwan's bid to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO), saying that the best way to show its concern during Taiwan's crucial fight against SARS is to allow the country to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) and become an observer at the WHO.

"If China is really concerned about Taiwan and its efforts to counter SARS," President Chen said, "it should neither oppose nor block Taiwan's bid to enter the WHO and to attend its top-level annual meeting, the WHA."

Chen spoke yesterday when he received Dr. Palmer Beasley, dean of the School of Public Health of the University of Texas, who is famous for his achievements and experience in researching the vaccine for Hepatitis B.

The president thanked Beasley for his help and contributions to the promotion of medical science and public health in Taiwan, and expressed his deep appreciation for Beasley's support for Taiwan's bid to join the WHO.

Beasley came to Taipei to attend a symposium on SARS prevention.

"The spread of SARS again displays the fact that to exclude Taiwan from the WHO is regrettable and it may become a loophole in the world's health and medical systems," Chen said.

Chen also expressed gratitude to the US, Japan and the EU for their support of the country's bid to gain entry to the WHO.

He added that the key obstruction to membership no doubt comes from the People's Republic of China, which has falsely claimed to provide adequate assistance to Taiwan in restraining the spread of SARS.

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