Taiwan says not invited to WHO meeting after China ‘obstruction’

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TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan has yet to receive an invitation to a key World Health Organization (WHO) meeting this week, which is expected to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic due to the ” obstruction ”from China, the island’s foreign ministry said, expressing its displeasure.

People walk past a Taiwanese flag amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Taipei, Taiwan, August 10, 2020. REUTERS / Ann Wang / Files

The US mission in Geneva last week urged WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Taiwan, claimed by China but democratically governed, to WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly. (WHA).

Late Sunday, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said the island had yet to receive an invitation to the virtual meeting from 194 member states.

“Foreign Ministry expresses deep regret and dissatisfaction with China’s obstruction of Taiwan to participate in WHO and WHO continues to neglect the health and human rights of 23.5 million people of Taiwan, ”he added.

The WHO’s refusal to invite Taiwan on the basis of political considerations mocks the body’s claim of “health for all”, the ministry said.

Taiwan is excluded from most global organizations such as the WHO due to objections from China, which sees the island as one of its provinces without the right to the traps of a sovereign state.

WHO says it is up to member states whether or not to invite Taiwan, which has been hailed internationally for quickly containing the coronavirus, to observe the AMS meeting.

Backed by the United States, Taiwan has stepped up its lobbying this year to participate, angering China.

China’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva on Friday denounced the United States’ “distorted” remarks on Taiwan, saying the island could only participate if it admitted to being part of China, which the Taipei government said. refused to do.

WHO says it is cooperating with Taiwan on various health issues, including some aspects of the pandemic and that the island has received the help it needs.

Report by Ben Blanchard; Edited by Lincoln Feast.

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