The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned Beijing for its continued suppression of the health rights of Taiwanese, as the government has yet to receive an invitation to join the World Health Assembly (WHA).
The 74th WHA is to take place virtually from May 24. Taiwan participated in the assembly as an observer from 2009 to 2016, but has since been denied entry.
The online registration deadline for member states ended on Monday and, as of yesterday, the nation had not received an invitation to participate at the assembly, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in Taipei.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
The foreign ministry would work with the Ministry of Health and Welfare to strive for the nation’s participation until “the last moment,” Ou said.
Ou thanked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and like-minded nations for supporting Taiwan’s participation at the WHA, while calling on WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to quickly respond to the calls for “justice” and Taiwan’s participation.
Beijing’s malicious suppression is the main barrier to the WHO including Taiwan in its technical discussions, she said.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) on Monday said that Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, including WHO-related events, should be handled in terms of the “one China” principle.
Washington’s claim that Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHA would imperil global health objectives is a political lie, Hua said, adding that “no one cares more about the health and welfare of Taiwanese than we do.”
The Chinese government, under its “one China” principle, has made “proper arrangements” for Taiwan to join discussions about global health affairs, she said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) criticized Hua’s claims as “shameless lies.”
“After what #Beijing has done to #Xinjiang, #Tibet & #HongKong, no sane person would believe it could take care of #Taiwan’s health needs or otherwise,” Wu wrote on Twitter yesterday.
“The #CCP regime can’t speak for Taiwan as it never ruled the country for a single day. Its claim, in fact, is pure authoritarian expansionism. The truth is we’re a democracy & only the freely elected government represents #Taiwan’s people. @WHO, do the right thing: Let us in,” he wrote.
“#Taiwan wants to do more to help combat COVID-19, so we call on the international community to #LetTaiwanHelp & support our participation in the #WHA,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) wrote on Twitter yesterday.
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