Taiwan

Taiwan again rejects participation in WHA this year

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Author: Brian Shear

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phosphorusImage credit: Thorkild Tylleskar/WikiCommons/CC BY-SA 3.0

perhaps not surprisingThis year, Taiwan was once again denied membership in the World Health Organization (WHA), the governing body of the World Health Organization.

In particular, there has been no major push this year for Taiwan to try to gain access to the WHA. Taiwan has pointed to its exclusion from the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a threat to global health. Although Taiwan was allowed to participate in the World Health Assembly as an observer from 2009 to 2016, it was later excluded under pressure from China after the Democratic Progressive Party came to power.

Likewise, Taiwan has sought to promote its contribution to the global fight against COVID-19 as a reason to allow it to attend the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization. After all, Taiwan has not gone through a lockdown like much of the world has in more than a year. When COVID-19 did hit Taiwan, it was also contained relatively quickly.

Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan. Image source: Tsai Ing-wen/Facebook

In fact, the United States has strongly supported Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization as an observer over the past few years as tensions with China have intensified. In addition to the United States also touting Taiwan’s success in the fight against COVID-19, it also proved that the World Health Organization and World Health Assembly became another arena for the contest between the two superpowers. For that matter, Bruce Aylward, former Assistant Director-General and Senior Advisor to the World Health Organization, awkwardly sidesteps the issue of Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Organization —Pretending to be disconnected during an interview with Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK in May 2020——It has aroused the attention of the international community on this issue.

However, U.S. support for Taiwan’s observer status at the World Health Assembly in the face of Chinese pressure is not enough, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has brought Taiwan’s potential to contribute to global health more than ever. Therefore, it is unlikely that Taiwan’s future attempts to participate in the World Health Assembly will receive so much support.

The World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization, Together with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which manages aviation safety worldwide, It is one of the two main UN international organizations that Taiwan has often emphasized its exclusion from. The World Health Organization and World Health Assembly have cited dangers to global public health, while Taiwan has touted the dangers posed by Taiwan’s role as a major international aviation hub in ICAO, despite Taiwan’s exclusion from ICAO.

This year, Taiwanese civil society groups such as the Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association seeking to file a petition Call for Taiwan to join the World Health Assembly. In addition, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus faced questions from Taiwanese people in Geneva, where the World Health Assembly summit was held. In the past, when Taiwan was criticized for being excluded from the World Health Organization, Tedros claimed the Taiwanese had launched a “racist” campaign against him. Taiwan responds through civil society groups crowdfunding advertising New York Times Call attention to the fact that “Taiwan can help global health.”

As usual in previous years, Taiwan’s Minister of Health flew to Geneva without receiving an invitation to attend the World Health Assembly. instead, Minister of Health and Welfare Xue Ruiyuan went to Geneva to hold a press conference Emphasize Taiwan’s exclusion and hold a meeting during the World Health Assembly.

I stand here project, A Taiwanese civil society group that seeks to draw attention to Taiwan’s exclusion from international organizations, Also traveled to Geneva to attend the World Health Assembly. The project held an exhibition and forum in Geneva to highlight Taiwan, at which Huang Zhihui, former director of the Academia Sinica, spoke.

Mukhisa Kituyi Houlin Zhao Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus with Sophia AI for Good Global Summit 2018 41223188035 cropped 2Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Image credit: ITU Photos/WikiCommons/CC BY

Taiwan’s 12 diplomatic allies speak out for Taiwan during the World Health Assembly, Although a proposal by Belize, Swaziland, the Marshall Islands and Nauru to include Taiwan in the WHA was rejected.Other countries that speak out for Taiwan Includes Australia, France, UK, US and Japan. a recent delegation Swedish MP and And the Hungarian Power Movement Party, Expressed support for Taiwan’s integration.

At the same time, China seeks to keep Taiwan out of the World Health Assembly as the international community adheres to its common one-China position on Taiwan, although China often seeks to differentiate its one-China principle from the one-China policy of countries around the world Confuse. In a similar time frame, China attempted to claim to have shared information with Taiwan to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic, a claim denied by the Taiwanese government.

also, Two Taiwanese reporters from China Central News Agency were not allowed to report on the World Health Assembly, Although previously granted a press pass. Two journalists were refused participation because they held ROC passports, and they were also refused when they went to collect their press cards. The WHA staff seemed sympathetic to tell the two reporters that this happened due to pressure from China. Afterwards, the two reporters personally reported what happened to them.

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