Discussion of Taiwan's status in WHA to be pushed until end of year

05/18/2020 10:49 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) Discussion on the issue of Taiwan's status in the World Health Assembly (WHA) will be postponed to later in the year when the WHA resumes, the president of this year's assembly, Keva Lorraine Bain, said on Monday.

The proposal of Taiwan's inclusion in the WHA as an observer will be considered by the General Committee, which will make a recommendation to the full WHA body on whether to include the issue on the agenda of the resumed WHA session later in the year, Bain said.

She said the measure would be considered even if a resumed session still must be held by videoconference rather than by members intending in person.

Bain said her solution was based on her "understanding of the outcome of informal consultations among concerned parties."

The proposal to accept Taiwan as an observer to the WHA, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), was raised by 14 member states, all Taiwan's diplomatic allies.

This year's WHA, which began virtually on Monday, was the fourth consecutive year in which Taiwan was not invited to the assembly.

Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer from 2009 to 2016, when Taipei's relations with Beijing were better under the then-Kuomintang administration.

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

(By Tang Pei-chun, Tai Ya-chen and Chiang Yi-ching)

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