WMA approves resolution to support Taiwan's participation in WHA

10/16/2021 10:22 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) The World Medical Association (WMA) has passed a resolution supporting Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Health Assembly (WHA) while rejecting a counter motion proposed by China.

Chiu Tai-yuan (邱泰源), head of the Taiwan Medical Association (TMA), said Friday that the WMA approved the resolution to support Taiwan's participation in the WHO and its decision-making body, the WHA, on the last day of its Oct. 7-15 online general assembly.

In an interview with CNA, Chiu said China proposed a motion in the general assembly opposing the resolution proposed by the TMA expressing the WMA's support for Taiwan's participation in the WHO and WHA.

After a debate, China's motion was rejected by the assembly 99-19, and the TMA resolution was then passed 91-16, according to Chiu.

The WMA, which represents over 100 national medical associations and constituent bodies around the world, is one of the most important non-governmental organization partners of the WHO.

Chiu, who led about a dozen representatives of Taiwan's health care sector in attending the London meeting virtually, said he was delighted to see the TMA's resolution pass.

In theory, Chiu said, the resolution will not be changed in the next 10 years because any measure proposed opposing the resolution, including by China, cannot be discussed for 10 years under the organization's rules.

Chiu thanked President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for her support for Taiwan's medical community and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for its help in pushing for the resolution.

In a statement Saturday, MOFA urged the WHO to reject any political intervention from China and to allow Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer.

The resolution passed by the WMA in support of Taiwan demonstrated the professionalism and conscience of medical personnel worldwide and showed that Taiwan's medical achievements and COVID-19 efforts have been recognized around the world, the ministry said.

Taiwan, officially called the Republic of China, was expelled from the WHO in 1972 after losing its seat in the United Nations when the U.N. switched recognition to the People's Republic of China.

Taiwan participated in WHA events as an observer from 2009 to 2016 under the designation "Chinese Taipei" when relations between Beijing and Taipei were warmer under Taiwan's previous ruling party Kuomintang.

Since 2017, however, Taiwan has been excluded from the WHA due to opposition from China, which has taken a hard line against President Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party for its advocacy of Taiwan's sovereignty as an independent state.

(By Justin Su, Huang Jui-hung and Frances Huang)

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