Chinese pressure is again keeping Taiwan out of the world’s biggest health policy meeting.
The News Lens
By: Morley J Weston
The annual World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva is poised to keep Taiwan on the sidelines for a second year in a row, but a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) came together today to send an email in protest of the country’s exclusion.
Morley J WestonRepresentatives from several local NGOs hold up signs to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly.
For eight years between 2009 and 2016, roughly corresponding to the period that former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was in power, “Chinese Taipei” sent a delegation to the WHA in Geneva, a massive international public health forum held by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 2017, Taiwan’s luck ran out when Chinese pressure led to Taiwan’s banishment, and the country is expected to have no seat at the table for the second consecutive year. The 2018 assembly will begin on Monday, May 21, and the deadline for online applications closed earlier this week with Taipei uninvited.
Chinese representatives have said that Taiwan was only allowed to attend under the Ma administration because of consensus with Beijing that there was only “one China”, a reference to the controversial “1992 Consensus” that Taiwan’s current President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has so far declined to ratify, and under which both Taiwan and China agree that Taiwan and China belong to “one China” while disagreeing over what exactly the term means. [FULL STORY]