Geneva, May 20 (CNA) World Medical Association (WMA) Chairperson of Council Ardis Hoven and Secretary-General Otmar Kloiber met with Taiwan's Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) Sunday to show WMA's support for the country's bid to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.
Chen arrived in the Swiss city a day earlier to hold a series of events promoting Taiwan on the sidelines of the annual WHA meeting, held May 21 to 26, from which Taiwan has been excluded because of Chinese obstruction.
The WMA, which represents over 100 national medical associations and constituent bodies around the world, issued a press release on May 7 calling for Taiwan to be allowed to participate in this year's WHA.
President of the WMA Yoshitake Yokokura and Hoven have written to World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to express their concern for Taiwan and ask for a reinstatement of a "a meaningful participation of Taiwan at the WHA and technical meetings of the WHO," according to the press release.
After the meeting with Chen, Kloiber said although Taiwan is a small country, it has made great contributions to the international community, which the WMA certainly hopes will continue.
It is not just Taiwan that needs the WHO, it is also the WHO that needs Taiwan, Kloiber said.
The WMA and the Taiwan Medical Association (TMA) have cooperated numerous times in the past, he said, adding that it is not about politics -- it highlights the fact that on the global map Taiwan and its doctors are a competent and solid member of the international medical community.
A day earlier, Chen compared China's unreasonable obstructions of Taiwan's participation in the WHA to onslaughts of "red sandstorms," which he said will pass one day and Taiwan will survive.