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EU support for Taiwan's participation in WHA

This week the EU voiced support for Taiwan's participation in the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting. Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for the EU's Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that the support for Taiwan's participation in the international arena is line with the EU's policy

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2018

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Kocijancic said the EU believes that Taiwan's participation would also be welcome in some "technical meetings." Taiwan was excluded from this year's WHA meeting after it did not receive an invitation to attend by the online registration. Taiwan did not get an invitation, which is necessary to complete registration procedures, because of China’s pressure on the WHO.
Kocijancic said the EU believes that Taiwan's participation would also be welcome in some "technical meetings." Taiwan was excluded from this year's WHA meeting after it did not receive an invitation to attend by the online registration. Taiwan did not get an invitation, which is necessary to complete registration procedures, because of China’s pressure on the WHO.

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by N. Peter Kramer

"The European Union, generally speaking, supports practical solutions regarding Taiwan's participation in international frameworks," including the WHA and World Health Organisation (WHO) Kocijancic said when asked about Taiwan's exclusion from this year's WHA annual meeting. "This is in line with our one-China policy and in line with our general policy objectives," she said.

Kocijancic said the EU believes that Taiwan's participation would also be welcome in some "technical meetings." Taiwan was excluded from this year's WHA meeting after it did not receive an invitation to attend by the online registration. Taiwan did not get an invitation, which is necessary to complete registration procedures, because of China’s pressure on the WHO.

It will be the second year in a row that Taiwan has failed to obtain an invitation to the WHA, the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation, which will hold its 71st session this year from May 21 to 26 in Geneva.

Kocijancic's comments came after a statement issued by the EU on May 1 supporting Taiwan's participation in the WHA meeting and saying it was in the interest of the EU and the world. It was rare for an EU official to talk to the press to express support for Taiwan's participation in the WHA.

Kocijancic said the EU, which currently runs an office in Taiwan, already cooperates with Taiwan in a wide range of economic areas, indicating the EU and Taiwan have already forged close ties with each other.

Despite the exclusion from the upcoming WHA meeting, Taiwan’s Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung will head a delegation to Geneva and meet with other delegations at and around the WHA meeting as he did last year.

Taiwan attended the WHA as an observer under the name Chinese Taipei from 2009 to 2016 with the help of the U.S. amid better relations with China during the previous Kuomintang (KMT) administration of President Ma Ying-jeou. In 2017, China blocked the WHO's invitation to Taiwan to attend the WHA as it began adopting a hardline stance on cross-Taiwan Strait relations after President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took office in May 2016.

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