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U.S., Germany, Australia, Burkina Faso back Taiwan at WHA

2017/05/23 11:52:08

CNA file photo

Geneva, May 22 (CNA) The representatives of the United States, Germany, Australia and Burkina Faso spoke in support of uninvited Taiwan at the World Health Assembly (WHA) that opened in Geneva Monday.

Taking the floor during a general discussion session, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price expressed disappointment that Taiwan was not invited to this year's meeting and said the United States "remains committed that Taiwan should not be excluded" by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Australia's representative said the WHO and the WHA should be more inclusive.

He said inviting Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer over the past several years was an important sign that the WHO was interacting with Taiwan and that Australia supported the continuation of such interaction.

Without naming any country, German Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said that Berlin supports meaningful participation by all entities without exeption and regrets the fact that not all observers that have attended the WHA over the past several years were invited to this year's meeting.

He said Germany hopes the gap will be filled in 2018.

Nicholas Meda, minister of health of Burkina Faso, expressed his appreciation to Taiwan for its long-time contributions to the global health and medical system.

He urged the WHA to accept Taiwan's continued participation as an observer and not to leave anyone out.

Taiwan is unable to attend this year's WHA, the decision-making body of the WHO, due to China's obstruction.

Taiwan first attended the WHA meeting as an observer in 2009, a year after former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) came to power and pursued a more conciliatory policy toward Beijing.

Taiwan had taken part in every WHA meeting since then, until this year.

Its exclusion is widely seen as the latest move by China to clamp down on Taiwan's participation in international events, a strategy that has become more aggressive since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party, who is less conciliatory toward China, came to power in May 2016.

(By Tang Pei-chun, Tai Ya-chen and Y.F. Low)
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