Deputy Minister of Health Lee Li-feng (李麗芬) and other government officials are to travel to Geneva, Switzerland, later this month during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA), even though Taiwan has not been invited to attend, her ministry said yesterday.
Lee and the other officials are hoping to meet on the sidelines with representatives from WHO member countries in a bid to hold discussions and garner support for Taiwan’s participation in the forum, the Ministry of Health said, without providing details of the officials’ agenda.
Minister of Health Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said at his daily news briefing that he had planned to lead the group to Geneva, but could not, as he must manage Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) during an outbreak of domestic COVID-19 cases.
Chen said he has delegated the role to his deputy Lee, who is to share Taiwan’s healthcare experiences on the sidelines of the annual WHA, as has been done in the past.
The WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is this year to meet in a hybrid format, featuring in-person and virtual meetings after two years of videoconferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taiwan was removed from the WHO in 1972 after losing its US seat when the organization switched official recognition to Beijing.
Taiwan participated in WHA events as an observer from 2009 to 2016 under the designation “Chinese Taipei,” when relations between the countries were warmer during the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration in Taiwan.
However, Taiwan has since 2017 been excluded from the WHA due to opposition from Beijing, which has taken a hard line against President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Democratic Progressive Party for asserting Taiwan’s sovereignty more strongly than the previous government.
Nonetheless, Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and other friendly nations have voiced support for its participation in international organizations, including the WHA.
The US House of Representatives late last month unanimously passed a bill to ask Washington to help Taiwan regain its WHA observer status.
The bill, which cleared the US Senate in August last year, is to be sent to US President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
Lawmakers in nations such as Denmark, Latvia and Slovakia, as well as the European Parliament, have passed resolutions in support of Taiwan’s WHA participation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said it was working with the health ministry to find a way for Taiwan to attend this year as an observer.
The ministry said that it would continue to express the wishes of Taiwan’s 23.9 million people through international channels, such as social media and online videos, to inform the world about the country’s contributions to global health and what it learned from its hadling of the pandemic.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,