WHO Meeting: Taiwan to send delegation despite non-invitation
“So far we have still received no invitation from WHO. It ignores the health rights of 23 million Taiwanese people; we will express our regret and discontent,” Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said in Taipei.
According to officials, the delegation hopes to boost the island nation’s international visibility and exchange experiences with other countries on disease prevention and health promotion at the global event holding between May 20 and 28.
The officials also said Taiwan would still seek inclusion at the conference once the delegation arrived in Geneva.
Taiwan Health Minister, Chen Shih-chung said on Friday that Taiwan’s exclusion from WHO could create a gap in global health security networks.
“Having access to the newest WHO epidemiological data is important when we manage epidemics,” Chen said.
It is the third year in a row that the self-ruled democratic Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory, has not been invited.
Between 2008 and 2016, when China-friendly former president Ma Ying-jeou was in power, Taiwan attended as an observer.
But since President Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party was inaugurated in May 2016, the country has been left out.