Officials from Taiwan have been campaigning to attend the next World Health Assembly (WHA), the legislative and supreme body of the World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s meeting is taking place on May 18-19, and will be held virtually to avoid an in-person meeting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, a Taiwanese spokesperson told Fox News that the country, which has had considerable success in its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, had not received an invitation to participate in this meeting, which begins in five days. Taiwan has not received an invitation to attend the WHA as a participant since 2016, which is probably no coincidence since that was the same year that its pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen took office.
The spokesperson said that Taiwan’s participation in both the WHA and many WHO meetings have been blocked because of pressure from Communist mainland China (PRC) on the WHO.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disputed a statement made on May 11 by WHO’s principal legal officer Steven Solomon claiming that its officials had “no mandate” to invite Taiwan to the WHA.
“Today I want to call upon all nations, including those in Europe, to support Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the World Health Assembly and in other relevant United Nations venues,” said Pompeo. “I also call upon WHO Director-General Tedros to invite Taiwan to observe this month’s WHA, as he has the power to do, and as his predecessors have done on multiple occasions.”
Because Taiwan has had more success with its response to the COVDID-19 pandemic than many other nations, it would like to share its methodology with others who will be participating in the WHA. Chen Shih-chung, Taiwan’s minister of health and welfare, said in a statement that admitting Taiwan to the WHA meeting “will be an occasion where Taiwan can share our experience in areas such as testing, diagnosis, border control, and community outbreak prevention. To avoid a repeat of the current pandemic and effectively ensure global health security, the world must take action to improve communication and transparency.”
Back on April 14, President Trump temporarily suspended U.S. funding to WHO due to the institution’s poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 13, Al Jazeera cited a document titled “Beijing’s Deadly Game,” produced by the U.S. Congress’s US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, stating that Taiwan’s exclusion from the WTO contributed to “critical delays” in the timely receipt of accurate guidance on dealing with COVID-19 for other countries in the early stages of the pandemic.
“Had the WHO allowed Taiwan’s health experts to share information and best practices in early January, governments around the world could have had more complete information on which to base their public health policies,” said the report.
On May 4, The New American cited an intelligence report reported by AP stating, “U.S. officials believe China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak — and how contagious the disease is — to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it, intelligence documents show.”
This is the same Communist government that wants to keep Taiwan out of the WTA.
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Warren Mass has served The New American since its launch in 1985 in several capacities, including marketing, editing, and writing. Since retiring from the staff several years ago, he has been a regular contributor to the magazine. Warren writes from Texas and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.