Taiwan unlikely to be invited to WHA: Foreign ministry

Taiwan has been blocked from participating since 2017

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/03/24
By:  Taiwan News, Staff Writer

MOFA senior offical Bob Chen. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The chances of Taiwan being invited to the World Health Assembly (WHA), which is scheduled for May, as an observer are slim, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acknowledged.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday (March 24), Bob Chen (陳龍錦), a senior foreign ministry official handling international organization-related affairs, said there is only “a slim chance” that Taiwan would be invited to the assembly. Taiwan’s participation as an observer has been blocked by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2017 due to China’s continuous attempts to isolate the island nation.

Chen said the government, including the foreign and health ministries, would nonetheless proceed with preliminary preparations. Over the past few years, Taiwan has sent a delegation, usually led by the health minister, to Geneva during the week of the assembly to attend side events and host promotional events advocating Taiwan’s inclusion in global health efforts.

The government will also work with allies and friendly nations to express concern over the issue during the assembly meetings, added Chen. However, he said the assembly is likely to be postponed until fall or conducted virtually, as outbreaks of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in China and later spread throughout the rest of the world, continue to escalate, leading to lockdowns in a number of cities across the continents and the self-isolation of hundreds of millions of people.    [FULL  STORY]

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