Taiwan struggles to attend WHO meeting, but China says no

Taiwan will fight to the end for an invitation to a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting this month, its foreign ministry said on Monday, but China said there was no no room for compromise on the island that Beijing claims to be its own.

The Group of Seven Rich Countries (G7) called on Taiwan, claimed by China but democratically governed, to attend WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, which meets from May 24.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that Sunday and Taiwan said it was urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said they have yet to receive an invitation.

“But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to work with the Ministry of Health and Welfare to fight until the last minute and do everything possible for our right to participate in the meeting,” she said. stated in a press release.

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 and not as a country.

As WHO cooperates with Taiwan technical experts on COVID-19, it is up to member states whether or not to invite Taiwan to observe the WHO meeting, said WHO senior legal officer Steve Solomon , during a press briefing on Monday.

Such an invitation would require a vote, and China can easily muster enough friendly countries to block it, diplomats say.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying condemned the United States for its “political manipulation” of the issue, and said Taiwan must accept that it is part of China if it wants to accede. to world bodies, which the government will not do.

“I would like to stress once again that the Taiwan issue concerns the fundamental interests of China. China has no room for compromise,” Hua told reporters.

Taiwan says it is absurd for China to claim that it has the right to speak for it on the international stage when Beijing has no say in how it is governed.

WHO says it cooperated with Taiwan during the pandemic and the island has received the necessary assistance.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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