At the General Assembly session in Geneva, China and Pakistan called on the participating parties to reject Taipei’s request, while African Swaziland and the Micronesian Marshall Islands sided with Taiwan. According to the decision, the proposal for Taiwan’s participation in observer status will not be put on the agenda.
According to Chinese state-owned content provider CGTN, Chen Hsu, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, once again stated that there is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. He added that since the WHO is an international organization of sovereign states, Taiwan’s participation in WHO’s activities should be carried out in accordance with the “one China” principle.
Chen said that before the opening of the General Assembly, nearly 140 countries had expressed support for the “one-China” principle and opposed Taiwan’s participation in the General Assembly. Nearly 100 countries have sent a letter to the Director-General of the World Health Organization or issued a statement with this content.
The Foreign Ministry in Beijing welcomed the move in a statement. In Taipei, they have not yet responded to the news, but previously said that the WHO director-general would have the right to call Taiwan into observer status, and that member states would not have to vote on the matter.
In early May, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US strongly encourages the World Health Organization to invite Taiwan to its upcoming annual general assembly.
Inviting Taiwan as an observer would embody the WHO’s commitment to a comprehensive approach to international health cooperation
Blinken said in his statement in Washington.
The 76th General Assembly of the World Health Organization will be held on May 21-30. It is traditionally held in Geneva, and Washington has made several attempts with other countries to invite Taiwan to attend, but China usually describes the initiative as political manipulation and firmly opposes any attempt that would lead to the emergence of Taiwan as an independent country.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) lost its membership in the United Nations in 1972, and the People’s Republic of China took its place in the world organization. However, between 2009 and 2016, under the Nationalist Party of China (KMT), Taiwan can participate in the work of the World Health Assembly as an observer.
However, after the incumbent President Tsai Jingwen and the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party came to power, China vetoed the island’s participation in the work of the world organization every time. Beijing’s condition is that the Taiwan leadership recognize that the island is part of the People’s Republic of China, but the Taipei leadership is not willing to do so.
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