Bundestag passes resolution to support Taiwan's WHA bid

05/20/2022 12:55 PM
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Image source: facebook.com/lechte18
Image source: facebook.com/lechte18

Berlin, May 19 (CNA) The German federal parliament Bundestag adopted a resolution on Thursday to call on the German government to advocate for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization's (WHO) activities and its decision-making body World Health Assembly (WHA).

The resolution, backed by lawmakers across party lines, urges the German government to work within the United Nations' health agency to advocate for Taiwan's participation in the WHA and relevant WHO mechanisms and activities, as an observer.

The resolution also calls on the government to report to the Bundestag regularly about its efforts to support Taiwan's participation in the WHO's activities.

The resolution noted that Taiwan was able to attend the annual WHA as an observer and given access to the WHO's activities from 2009 to 2016 until the intervention of China.

China has stepped up its efforts to isolate Taiwan after Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power in 2016.

Taiwan has not been invited to the WHA since 2017 despite the COVID-19 pandemic that requires global efforts, and Taiwan's effective measures to combat the disease, the resolution added.

Taiwan has not been invited to the 2022 WHA, which will be held from May 22-28 in Geneva.

The resolution said global health issues should not be politicized and that the Bundestag supports Taiwan's meaningful participation in the WHO and its committees and activities according to the European Union's one-China policy.

The resolution mentioned that Taiwan had offered assistance to the international community from the early stages of the pandemic while providing aid to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, including sending 27 metric tons of medical supplies to the Eastern European nation in March.

Ulrich Lechte, a spokesperson for the Free Democratic Party (FDP) parliamentary group, was later cited by German media as saying that Taiwan could play an important role in the WHO and that its exclusion from the U.N. health agency because of pressure from China must end.

The FDP parliamentary group was one of the four party caucuses that jointly sponsored the resolution, along with the Social Democratic Party, CDU/CSU, and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen.

Speaking to CNA later the same day, Taiwan's representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) commented that the passage of the resolution showed growing support for Taiwan among German politicians.

According to Shieh, Taiwan's representative office in Germany had in the past lobbied individual lawmakers to join calls for support of Taiwan's participation in the WHA.

It was the first time that the representative office had reached out to parliamentary groups at the Bundestag, Shieh said, adding that it was able to receive support from the four parties, including three that are part of the coalition government.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Friday in Taipei that it was significant that the Bundestag passed the resolution backed by four parliamentary groups in support of Taiwan for the first time.

Taiwan looks forward to working with both the German government and parliament to deepen bilateral ties and contribute to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, MOFA added in its statement.

(By Lin Yu-li and Teng Pei-ju)

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