Taiwan's foreign ministry asks UN health agency to refrain from kowtowing to Beijing
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer
The UN health agency’s annual assembly will be held virtually within two weeks, and much attention has been focused on Taiwan’s participation in addition to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Taiwan had been invited to the World Health Assembly (WHA) from 2009 to 2016 as an observer, but the island nation’s access has been blocked in recent years due to Beijing's growing pressure on international organizations to exclude Taiwan.
Answering a question at a press briefing Wednesday (May 7) concerning Taiwan’s invitation to the upcoming WHA on behalf of Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Derek Walton, a legal counsel for the WHO, said Taiwan’s participation is a decision to be made by the agency’s member states.
In his response, which included mostly officials statements that other WHO staff had made before, Walton specifically referred to Taiwan as “Taiwan, China,” while stressing that the WHO Secretariat is not entitled to decide Taiwan’s participation. [FULL STORY]