Taiwan Rallies for More Support as WHO Fails to Invite Taiwan to Annual Summit

Despite increasing support from the international community, Taiwan has yet to be invited to the 75th annual World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of World Health Organization (WHO), which is convening May 22 to 28 in Geneva, Switzerland, after two years of virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Taiwan, which has been excluded from the WHA since 2017, says it is grateful for support from thirteen diplomatic allies, who are also WHO member states, who proposed a motion to put Taiwan’s participation in the WHA on the meeting’s agenda. According to Taiwan Central News Agency (CNA), about 20 countries including the United States, Japan, and other G-7 countries, European Union, Latin American and Caribbean countries, and over 2,000 individuals around the world have also voiced their support for Taiwan. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (4th R) stands with a U.S. delegation including retired Admiral Mike Mullen (3rd R), former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as they arrive at Taipei Songshan Airport in Taiwan on March 1, 2022. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP) On May 13, President Biden signed a bill into law that supports Taiwan’s observer status at the WHA. “We strongly advocate for the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer and lend its expertise to the solution-seeking discussions at the 75th World Health Assembly,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a press briefing on May 17. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement on May 18 praising Taiwan and its “distinct capabilities and approaches—including its significant public health expertise, democratic governance, resilience to COVID-19, and robust economy.” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen addresses to soldiers amid the COVID-19 pandemic during her visit to a military base in Tainan, southern Taiwan on April 9, 2020. (Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images) Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on May 20 posted a video on Twitter thanking and encouraging the international community for their continued support. The video showed footage of pandemic aid exchanges between Taiwan and other countries, as well as dignitary visits to Taiwan over the past year, including from the United States, European Union, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, France, Sweden, and Japan. “Your willingness to stand together with us is significant for the 23 million freedom-loving people of Taiwan. Our democracy is stronger because of your support.” Tsai said in the video. Tensions Continue Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang said on May 21 that because of political interference by China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its “One China” principle, Taiwan has not received an invitation from WHO. After the United States issued its support for Taiwan, the CCP issued a statement saying it “firmly opposes the U.S. statement.” A CCP foreign ministry spokesperson said, “the Taiwan region’s participation in the activities of international organizations, including the WHO, must be handled in accordance with the One China principle.” In response, Price wrote on Twitter, “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy. The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’—we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and Six Assurances.” The CCP has long been trying to mix up the concepts between its “One China Principle” and the “One China policy,” which is commonly accepted by other countries. David R. Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said in a statement, “The U.S. has long had a one-China policy. This is distinct from Beijing’s ‘One China Principle’ under which the CCP asserts sovereignty over Taiwan. The U.S. takes no position on sovereignty over Taiwan.” Taiwan’s health Minister Chen Shih-chung (C) gives a thumb up as he poses with demonstrators after a press conference on the sideline of the World Health Organization annual Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 21, 2018. (Fabrice Coffrini /AFP via Getty Images) Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), was expelled from the WHO in 1972, which was one year after it lost its seat in the United Nations to the CCP ruled People’s Republic of China (PRC). Tensions between ROC and PRC has since been dominating the cross-strait relationship. Taiwan participated at the WHA as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei” from 2009 to 2016, when then Taiwanese administration had a warmer relationship with the CCP. Since Tsai became president of Taiwan, the WHO discontinued the invitation due to pressure from CCP. The CCP has been opposing Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party for their stance that Taiwan is an independent state. Follow Kelly Song is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on all things related to China.

Taiwan Rallies for More Support as WHO Fails to Invite Taiwan to Annual Summit

Despite increasing support from the international community, Taiwan has yet to be invited to the 75th annual World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of World Health Organization (WHO), which is convening May 22 to 28 in Geneva, Switzerland, after two years of virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan, which has been excluded from the WHA since 2017, says it is grateful for support from thirteen diplomatic allies, who are also WHO member states, who proposed a motion to put Taiwan’s participation in the WHA on the meeting’s agenda.

According to Taiwan Central News Agency (CNA), about 20 countries including the United States, Japan, and other G-7 countries, European Union, Latin American and Caribbean countries, and over 2,000 individuals around the world have also voiced their support for Taiwan.

Epoch Times Photo
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (4th R) stands with a U.S. delegation including retired Admiral Mike Mullen (3rd R), former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as they arrive at Taipei Songshan Airport in Taiwan on March 1, 2022. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)

On May 13, President Biden signed a bill into law that supports Taiwan’s observer status at the WHA.

“We strongly advocate for the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer and lend its expertise to the solution-seeking discussions at the 75th World Health Assembly,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a press briefing on May 17.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement on May 18 praising Taiwan and its “distinct capabilities and approaches—including its significant public health expertise, democratic governance, resilience to COVID-19, and robust economy.”

Epoch Times Photo
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen addresses to soldiers amid the COVID-19 pandemic during her visit to a military base in Tainan, southern Taiwan on April 9, 2020. (Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images)

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on May 20 posted a video on Twitter thanking and encouraging the international community for their continued support.

The video showed footage of pandemic aid exchanges between Taiwan and other countries, as well as dignitary visits to Taiwan over the past year, including from the United States, European Union, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, France, Sweden, and Japan.

“Your willingness to stand together with us is significant for the 23 million freedom-loving people of Taiwan. Our democracy is stronger because of your support.” Tsai said in the video.

Tensions Continue

Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang said on May 21 that because of political interference by China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its “One China” principle, Taiwan has not received an invitation from WHO.

After the United States issued its support for Taiwan, the CCP issued a statement saying it “firmly opposes the U.S. statement.”

A CCP foreign ministry spokesperson said, “the Taiwan region’s participation in the activities of international organizations, including the WHO, must be handled in accordance with the One China principle.”

In response, Price wrote on Twitter, “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy. The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’—we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and Six Assurances.”

The CCP has long been trying to mix up the concepts between its “One China Principle” and the “One China policy,” which is commonly accepted by other countries.

David R. Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said in a statement, “The U.S. has long had a one-China policy. This is distinct from Beijing’s ‘One China Principle’ under which the CCP asserts sovereignty over Taiwan. The U.S. takes no position on sovereignty over Taiwan.

Epoch Times Photo
Taiwan’s health Minister Chen Shih-chung (C) gives a thumb up as he poses with demonstrators after a press conference on the sideline of the World Health Organization annual Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 21, 2018. (Fabrice Coffrini /AFP via Getty Images)

Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), was expelled from the WHO in 1972, which was one year after it lost its seat in the United Nations to the CCP ruled People’s Republic of China (PRC). Tensions between ROC and PRC has since been dominating the cross-strait relationship.

Taiwan participated at the WHA as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei” from 2009 to 2016, when then Taiwanese administration had a warmer relationship with the CCP.

Since Tsai became president of Taiwan, the WHO discontinued the invitation due to pressure from CCP. The CCP has been opposing Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party for their stance that Taiwan is an independent state.

Kelly Song

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Kelly Song is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on all things related to China.