Taiwan’s participation in the WHO is again blocked, the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain and Australia will speak out in support of Taiwan

With the 74th World Health Assembly, Taiwan’s hopes of participating in this year’s WHO have once again been dashed, marking the fifth consecutive year that Taiwan has been shut out of the WHO. Health officials from the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries spoke at the WHO to express their support for Taiwan’s participation and to emphasize that the fight against the new crown epidemic and other public health challenges requires the cooperation of global partners. “We must invite Taiwan to be part of the WHO Assembly as an observer.”

The current WHO Assembly kicked off with a videoconference in Geneva on Monday (May 24), and even though support for Taiwan’s participation in the Assembly has been high this year, with the Group of Seven (G-7) even issuing an unprecedented statement in support of Taiwan’s participation, Taiwan’s hopes of returning to the WHO Assembly were once again dashed amid strong opposition from China, against which the Taiwanese government expressed its solemn protest.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday that Taiwan’s participation in the activities of international organizations, including the WHO, must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle, which has been confirmed by UN General Assembly Resolution 275.8 and WHO General Assembly Resolution 25.1, and that the DPP government “refuses to recognize the ‘1992 consensus’ embodying the one-China principle. The DPP government “refuses to recognize the ‘1992 Consensus’ that reflects the one-China principle” and the political basis for Taiwan’s participation in the WHO Conference no longer exists, so China “cannot agree to Taiwan’s participation in this year’s WHO Conference.”

The Central News Agency reported that on the second day of the conference, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu, British Health Minister Matt Hancock, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt, and Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Tamura Kenshu Tamura, Japan’s Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, all mentioned Taiwan in their speeches and emphasized that the cooperation of global partners is needed to effectively combat the outbreak.

U.S. Health Secretary Becerra posted a video of his remarks on Twitter. He said, “Global collaboration is key to addressing the many challenges at hand, collaboration with non-state actors must be sustained, and we must invite Taiwan to be part of the WHO Conference as an observer.”

In addition to the statements made at the meeting, the U.S., Japanese and Australian agencies in Taiwan also issued a joint statement expressing support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its participation as an observer in the World Health Assembly (WHA).

The joint statement, issued by the American Institute in Taiwan, the Japan Taiwan Exchange Association and the Australian Office in Taiwan, said that Taiwan is going through a very challenging time as its health sector struggles to cope with the significant threat of the first wave of community-acquired infections, and even so, Taiwan’s early response to the incipient emergence of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), its rigorous screening strategy, its measures to robustly control the border, and its information transparency, remains a public health success story, and Taiwan is one of the world’s lowest case examples.

The statement noted that the three Taiwan-based agencies co-hosted a forum only last week with Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Global Collaborative Training Framework (GCTF) to share and discuss best practices on promoting vaccination against the new coronavirus with healthcare experts from around the world, and that Taiwan’s achievements in public health security have been recognized by the international community, including the G7, and that as global infection rates continue to increase, the world cannot allow any population to be excluded from the international health network, “Taiwan’s meaningful participation in WHO forums and technical committees will not only benefit the 24 million people of Taiwan, but will also bring well-being to the world.”

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted Monday to thank friends around the world for their support of Taiwan and said, “Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHO is a loss for Taiwan’s 23 million people and the world, and to truly achieve health for all, WHO must put politics aside so that Taiwan can share our expertise and contribute more to global health. “

Taiwan is experiencing the most severe moment since the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, as the local infection continues to expand and the number of confirmed cases continues to increase. As of Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases is as high as 5,465, of which 4,285 are local cases and the rest are imported from outside Taiwan.

In the face of the epidemic challenge, President Tsai Ing-wen on Facebook not only called on the people of Taiwan to continue to insist on epidemic prevention but also said that 2 million doses of vaccines purchased from outside Taiwan are expected to arrive in June, plus Taiwan’s own vaccines, and by the end of August Taiwan will have a total of 10 million doses of vaccines, “and then there will be more.”

Taiwan’s representative to the U.S., Mei-Chin Hsiao, also continues to discuss with the U.S. side in Washington about assisting Taiwan in obtaining more vaccines and joining the long-term cooperation of the U.S. Global Vaccine Production Partnership.

In response to the Biden administration’s recent announcement on whether Taiwan can secure a portion of the 80 million doses of vaccines released worldwide, and AIT Deputy Director Gu Li-Yin’s statement in an interview in Taipei that the U.S. government has encouraged U.S. manufacturers to provide vaccines to Taiwan as soon as possible and to increase Taiwan’s priority in receiving vaccines, Hsiao said in response to media inquiries on Tuesday that she was working on these issues and that once there is confirmation that progress can be She will explain the progress once it is confirmed that it can be disclosed to the public.

Taiwan has so far received 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine, and according to data from the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, as of Tuesday, May 25, the total number of people vaccinated in Taiwan was 311,678.

The Chinese government has expressed its willingness to make prompt arrangements to address the urgent need for vaccines in Taiwan due to the severity of the epidemic, including its willingness to consider sending experts to Taiwan to provide assistance.

Xinhua News Agency reported that Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said last week that in response to the request of the New Party of Taiwan and some social groups for the DPP government to open up the import of vaccines from China’s New Crown and its willingness to play a bridging role to assist in the introduction of vaccines from the mainland, the epidemic situation in Taiwan is getting more and more serious and the people are eagerly waiting for the availability of vaccines from the mainland, “the most urgent task is to remove the artificial political barriers on the island “The most important thing is to remove the artificial political barriers on the island, so that the people of Taiwan can have vaccines available.

On Monday, Zhu Fenglian further said that she was willing to quickly make arrangements to make mainland vaccines available to the Taiwanese people, and if necessary, she was also willing to consider sending epidemic prevention and control experts to Taiwan to share anti-epidemic experience with Taiwanese medical and health professionals and provide epidemic prevention advice.

However, Zhu Fenglian’s statement was accused by the Taiwan Land Commission of taking advantage of the rising epidemic in Taiwan to carry out a unification and division operation, which is well understood by the Taiwanese society and clearly perceived by the international community.