The WHO Secretariat has been playing a decisive role in excluding Taiwan’s participation in the global body, three Taiwanese-American groups said in a joint letter to the global health body on Monday, after the WHO said it does not make decisions on membership.
The joint letter was endorsed by the North American Taiwanese Medical Association, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) and the North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association in response to the WHO’s statement titled “Information sharing on COVID-19” published on March 29.
“The question of Taiwanese membership in WHO is up to WHO Member States, not WHO staff,” said the letter, quoting the WHO statement.
However, “it is the WHO Secretariat that has been playing a decisive role in excluding Taiwan’s participation. Their manipulation of meeting agenda regarding Taiwan’s participation during past annual [World Health] Assembly precludes the decisions by Member States and a transparent democratic process,” the letter said.
Taiwanese’s human rights are not a matter to be determined or voted by the WHO Secretariat, nor the member states, which runs counter to the idea of “health for all,” the letter said.
When the US Congress returns to session, the FAPA would do its utmost to help pass Senate Bill No. 249 to direct the US Department of State to develop a strategy to regain Taiwan’s observer status in the WHO, FAPA president Minze Chien (簡明子) said in the letter.
“We will also continue to advocate for the ultimate goal of Taiwan’s full membership in the global health body,” he said.
The WHO on Sunday issued another statement titled “How the World Health Organization works with all people, everywhere” to reiterate its interaction with Taiwanese experts and uphold its “one China” policy.
While the WHO soon retracted the second statement, Watchout (沃草) — a Taiwan-based Facebook page promoting civic participation in politics — saved a copy and shared it on Facebook on Monday.
The UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 passed by member states in 1971 recognized the People’s Republic of China as “the only legitimate representative of China,” which is “a one China policy,” the WHO’s second statement said.
“There have been occasions when it was clear that there was general support among WHO countries for Taiwan to take an observer seat at the World Health Assembly. Between 2009 and 2016, it did so under the name ‘Chinese Taipei,’” it said.
“But having a seat at the WHA, or not having a seat at the WHA, does not affect, in any way, whether an area or population benefits from WHO expertise and guidance. WHO helps all people, everywhere,” it said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it has noticed the second statement, but could not comment on it as the WHO had retracted it.
Taiwan from Thursday is to reinstate visa exemptions for passport holders from 65 countries. Mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers is to be lifted on Oct. 13 , when restrictions on inbound and outbound tour groups are also to be lifted. The following is a list of answers to common questions regarding how the new regulations are to affect inbound international visitors Which passports will have visa-free entry privileges? Eleven more countries on Thursday are to join 54 countries that were given visa-free privileges on Sept. 12. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Chile, Israel and Nicaragua can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days without a visa. Taiwan is also to resume 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Malaysia. Passport holders from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines are to be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days visa-free. Taiwan on Sept. 12 resumed 90-day visa-free entry for passport holders from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New
HAWAII MODEL: While Hawaii held a referendum on becoming the 50th US state, Taiwan has never applied to join the People’s Republic of China, Miles Yu said China comparing Taiwanese independence to Hawaii seeking independence from the US is illogical, as Taiwan has never applied to be a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hudson Institute senior fellow Miles Yu (余茂春) said over the weekend. Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅), who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, has given multiple talks asserting Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. In a speech to the Asia Society on Thursday, Wang likened Taiwan to Hawaii. “Just as the US would not allow Hawaii to break away,” Beijing “reserves the right” to seek unification, Wang told the gathering. The
PRIDE AND FURY: Supporters of the Taiwan People’s Communist Party sang in Tainan, while Taiwan loyalists in Kaohsiung vowed to ‘protect Taiwan until death’ Two small Taiwanese groups at the far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked the National Day of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with flag raisings and flag burnings — opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait. Oct. 1 marks the day that Mao Zedong (毛澤東) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with the defeated Republic of China government fleeing to Taiwan at the end of that year, where — after democratic reforms — it remains to this day, neither recognizing the other. China’s national day is not officially marked in any
Tensions over Taiwan have raised the thorny issue of whether US troops based in South Korea would be involved in any conflict, with US and South Korean officials acknowledging that the peninsula could easily be dragged into a crisis. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol told CNN in an interview aired on Sunday that his country was keen to work with the US to “expand freedom,” but that in a conflict over Taiwan, North Korea would be more likely to stage a provocation and that the alliance should focus on that first. North Korea has a mutual defense treaty with China, and military