Taiwan was not invited to the WHO meeting despite COVID-19 success

Taiwan says that it has not been invited to a critical meeting of the World Health Organization, held on Monday, November 9, 2020. Despite its efforts and success in controlling the virus, the country says it has been unsuccessful to participate.

WHO had organized its annual World Health Assembly. It is a decision making body meant to take some crucial decisions on controlling the coronavirus pandemic across the world. The WHO’s list of delegations was an 83 age list, but it excluded Taiwan, a self-ruled island country that China claims it owns. This was the 73rd assembly meet.

“The Foreign Ministry expresses strong regret and dissatisfaction at China’s obstruction of Taiwan participating in the WHO and the WHO’s continuing to neglect the health and human rights of Taiwan’s 23.5 million people,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said.

Taiwan’s exclusion

Most global organizations exclude Taiwan due to China’s influence over it. China considers the self-ruled country as one of its parts. The WHO says that it depends on the member states to invite Taiwan to the assembly. Taiwan is not invited despite being praised internationally for its efforts and control in coronavirus cases. This is a mockery of the “health for all” motto of the World Health Organization.

Taiwan’s success against coronavirus

According to Aljazeera, more than 200 days had passed when Taiwan reported any new coronavirus case. It is eager to share its experience and expertise as other countries struggle in the pandemic. Now, there are more than 50 million people infected with coronavirus across the world.

US Support

The United States has supported Taiwan’s participation in the assembly. Also, 650 members of the parliament from 25 European countries sent an open letter to the WHO chief last week to support Taiwan’s invitation as an observer state. The World Medical Association has also written to Ghebreyesus reiterating its call for the island for observer status.

Chinese aggression

As a result of China’s aggression, Taiwan turned out of the World heath Organization in 1972. This was the time when the people’s republic of China took a seat in the UN. It took part in the WHA as an observer between 2009 and 2016, but Beijing has increased pressure on the island since President Tsai Ing-wen was first elected that year.

On Friday, China’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva said that there is a chance Taiwan can participate in the World Health Assembly. This is only if the country acknowledges that it is a part of the people’s Republic of China. However, Taipei has refused any such compliance.


Image courtesy of Vikentiy Elizarov/Shutterstock

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