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Former U.S. Health Secretary to visit Taiwan for TB workshop

2019/04/24 15:46:35

Former U.S. Health Secretary Tom Price (left) / File photo / Photo courtesy of Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare

Taipei, April 24 (CNA) Former U.S. Health Secretary Tom Price will visit Taiwan in the coming week to speak at a workshop on tuberculosis co-organized by Taiwan and the United States, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Wednesday.

Price, who headed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from February to September 2017, is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on April 28 before attending the opening ceremony of a Taiwan-U.S. Global Cooperation Training Framework (GCTF) workshop on tuberculosis prevention, according to MOFA.

The GCTF workshop, titled "International Workshop on the Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis," will be held from April 30 to May 3.

Calling Price a long-term supporter of Taiwan's international participation, MOFA said he expressed U.S. support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) during his address at the WHA in 2017.

The WHA is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization.

Price's visit to Taiwan ahead of this year's WHA again shows the U.S.'s support for Taiwan's WHA participation and its recognition of Taiwan's contributions to world health, it added.

Established in June 2015, the GCTF is designed to support bilateral cooperation in international public health, humanitarian assistance and other global issues in the Indo-Pacific region.

The WHA, the decision-making body of the WHO, is scheduled to hold its 72nd session from May 20 to 28 in Geneva. Government officials previously said that Taiwan is "unlikely" to be invited to the annual event due to China's obstruction for the third consecutive year.

Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer under the name Chinese Taipei from 2009 to 2016 amid better relations with China during the then Kuomintang administration, which prioritized reducing tensions and building friendly ties with Beijing.

Since 2017, however, China has persuaded the WHO not to invite Taiwan, in line with Beijing's hardline stance on cross-Taiwan Strait relations after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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