Sat, May 10, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP members aim to take poll results to WHA

REFERENDUM RESULTS The DPP legislative caucus whip said while medicine had nothing to do with politics, China was using the WHO for its own ends

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Several ranking members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that they would continue to promote the nation's WHO membership bid at this year's World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting later this month in Geneva.

Speaking at a news conference, DPP legislative caucus whip Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津), DPP Legislator Twu Shiing-jer (�?�) and party chairmanship candidate Koo Kuang-ming (辜寬敏) said that 5.53 million Taiwanese citizens had voted in favor of applying to join the UN under the name “Taiwan” in a referendum held alongside the March 22 presidential election.

Expressing their gratitude for these citizens’ support, they said that the DPP would “bring these 5.53 million votes” to continue pushing the nation’s WHO bid by lobbying the WHA.

The WHA is the WHO’s highest decision-making body.

The WHA’s annual meeting is scheduled to open in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 19.

“While medical treatment has nothing to do with politics and despite the fact that nobody in the country is against Taiwan joining the WHA, the country’s bid has been consistently rejected,” Yeh said, attributing the lack of success to China’s opposition and its claims that Taiwan is not a country.

“Taiwan cannot give up because of these reasons,” she said, adding that the global epidemic disease prevention network could not afford to have any holes in it.

She said that China’s claim that it speaks for Taiwan on health matters “is a lie as big as the sky itself.”

“If we don’t go to the WHA and refute these claims and pierce these lies, then fiction will eventually become fact,” she said.

Yeh said that Taiwan had to remind the international community that the nation’s health affairs are handled by Taiwan alone and that China did not have a friendly attitude toward Taiwan.

Koo said that health care matters are related to human rights.

He said that since Taiwan’s health treatment standards are among the highest in the world, it is “unreasonable” that the nation is excluded from the world’s most important health organization.

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