US official voices support for Taiwan ahead of WHO summit


Washington, May 17 (CNA) A U.S. official on Tuesday reiterated U.S. support for Taiwan’s participation in the annual World Health Organization (WHO) summit, saying Taiwan would offer “considerable resources” conducive to discussions at the event which will begin this Sunday. .

“We strongly advocate for the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer and contribute its expertise to the solution-finding discussions at the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA),” the spokesperson said on Tuesday. of the State Department, Ned Price, during a press briefing.

He was responding to a reporter’s inquiry about what actions the US government has taken to facilitate Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHA other than public statements in support of Taiwan’s participation.

The WHA Summit will convene at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 22-28, after two years of virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WHO had invited Taiwan to participate as an observer in the WHA every year from 2009 to 2016 under the designation of “Chinese Taipei” under the then Kuomintang administration, after a 38-year absence since the country, officially named the Republic of China, lost its seat in the UN.

Since the current Democratic Progressive Party government took office in May 2016, the WHO has ended this practice at the request of China.

Hailing Taiwan as “a highly capable, committed and responsible member of the global health community,” Price said Taiwan has a lot to share with the world in different areas, including public health.

“We believe that its significant public health expertise, technical and technological capabilities, democratic governments – governance, resilience to COVID-19, and robust economy offer considerable resources to inform the WHA’s deliberations,” a- he declared.

There is no reasonable justification for excluding his participation, Price added.

According to the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday, 13 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies have submitted a proposal to the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer.

● Taiwan thanks its allies for their proposal to participate in the WHA

The proposal will be discussed at the WHA General Committee on May 22, after which the committee will refer the case, along with its recommendation on it, to the plenary session for WHO Member States to decide when to confirm the agenda items, according to WHO.

In addition to Taiwan’s eight allies in the Caribbean and Central and South America, who jointly put forward the proposal to the WHO, people from countries in those regions with which Taiwan does not have diplomatic relations have also spoken out in favor of Taiwan’s participation in the WHA. , according to MOFA.

More than 2,000 people and organizations from 20 countries in the region spoke out in favor of Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, including parliamentarians from Brazil and Mexico, and others from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Costa Rica, as well as other countries, MOFA said.

In a related development, several overseas Taiwanese groups in California’s San Francisco Bay Area staged a march in front of San Francisco City Hall on May 14 to campaign for the participation of Taiwan at the WHA.

Holding banners bearing slogans such as “Let Taiwan Help” and “WHA for Taiwan”, participants pleaded for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHA, saying that Taiwan is capable of contributing to the international community and should benefit from the same health care rights than other countries.

(By Stacy Hsu, Huang Ya-shih, Chou Shih-hui and Shih Hsiu-chuan)

End article/HY

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