Taiwan’s chances of receiving an invitation to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) next month are slim, but the government would continue to do its best to rally international support, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday.
The WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is to hold its annual meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 17 to 21.
According to the ministry’s latest evaluation, Taiwan once again might not be invited to the event, Department of International Organizations Director-General Bob Chen (陳龍錦) said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting is likely to be held online and the ministry is doing everything it can to make Taiwan’s inclusion possible, Chen told lawmakers at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee.
Taiwan continues to seek the support of its diplomatic allies and other friendly countries, such as the US, to obtain an invitation to this year’s WHA, Chen said.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers asked Chen to evaluate Taiwan’s chances of participating in this year’s meeting after WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on April 8 said that Taiwan was behind a campaign of personal attacks against him.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) once again denied the accusation, saying that the ministry absolutely did not instigate anyone to attack Tedros.
Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei” from 2009 to 2016 during the administration of then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT, but China has refused to allow the WHO to invite Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016.
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