US lawmakers push WHO to recognize Taiwan as independent state as coronavirus outbreak continues

The Hill
Date: 02/04/20
By: J. Edward Moreno

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U.S. lawmakers are pushing legislation that would work toward granting Taiwan recognition in the World Health Organization (WHO) in light of the coronavirus outbreak that has left Taiwan subject to flight bans and limited information. 

The WHO — a branch of the United Nations — has relayed communication on the virus to China, which considers Taiwan a Chinese territory with an illegitimate independent government. The island’s status as a nation is a matter of international disagreement: the U.S., Japan, Canada and the European Union all recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state, while the UN and Chinese allies consider Taiwan a province of China. 

Taiwanese officials claim they have received little information on the virus from WHO while also struggling to communicate with Chinese officials as they attempted to evacuate Taiwanese citizens from Wuhan, where the virus originated. Taiwan has 10 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and on Monday night quarantined 247 people repatriated to the island after being stranded in Wuhan.

According to Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, flights to Taiwan from Vietnam and Italy were canceled last week based on information that grouped Taiwan as part of China. Flights from Vietnam were restored, but Taiwan is still “working through all diplomatic channels” to restore flights from Italy.     [FULL  STORY]

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