US secretary vows to support Taiwan’s WHA efforts

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Sep 03, 2018 - Page 3

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar has pledged to support Taiwan’s efforts to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Saturday.

Chen said he met with Azar in Washington on Wednesday to exchange views on diseases and disaster prevention, as well as other issues related to public health.

The US looks forward to working with Taiwan and is pleased to continue supporting Taiwan’s WHA participation efforts, Chen said.

Azar also told Chen that he had recently urged WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to seriously consider allowing Taiwan to participate in the WHA, the health minister said.

Azar posted a picture of himself with Chen on Twitter, with the text: “Great meeting today with Chen Shih-chung, Taiwan’s minister of health and welfare.”

Taiwan and the US have worked together many times in the past, including on epidemic prevention education targeting mainly Southeast Asian countries, Chen said.

The minister said he has invited Azar to attend the Global Health Forum in Taipei on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29.

Chen declined to speculate on whether Taiwan has a chance of attending the WHA next year, but said that progress has been made in this regard.