Taiwan is likely to miss this year’s meeting of the World Health Organization, a situation it blames on pressure from China.
Taiwan had been taking part in the annual World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO, as an observer since 2009. But last year, it did not receive an invitation.
Taiwanese authorities had hoped to take part in this year’s forum, which opens in Geneva on May 21st, citing the need to join talks on the prevention of infectious diseases and other health issues.
They sought the cooperation of Japan, the US and other countries, but the registration deadline passed on Monday Geneva time without an invitation from the WHO.
The Taiwanese foreign ministry issued a statement urging the WHO not to ignore Taiwan’s decades-long contribution to global health and disease prevention.
It stressed that enjoying good health is the universal right of every human being, without distinction of political belief or other factors.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang criticized Taiwan’s ruling party on Monday. He said the refusal of to accept the One China principle undermines the political foundation for Taiwan to attend the World Health Assembly.
He blamed the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen for its failure to receive an invitation.