US secretary of state calls for Taiwan’s ‘appropriate place’ at World Health Assembly

2021.05.08

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called for restoring Taiwan’s “appropriate place” at the World Health Assembly, as there was no reasonable justification to exclude the island.

Blinken’s statement came after the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven forum met in London and issued a joint communique that said they supported Taiwan’s meaningful participation in World Health Organization forums and the WHA.

The WHA, to be held on May 24, is the decision-making body of the WHO that sets the agenda for strengthening international cooperation to end the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing global health and global health security, which are issues that affect all, Blinken said in the Friday statement.

But unless the WHO leadership takes appropriate action, the WHA will once again exclude the vital participation of Taiwan, he said.

There is no reasonable justification for Taiwan’s continued exclusion from the forum, and the United States calls upon the WHO Director-General to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer at the WHA, said Blinken.

“Global health and global health security challenges do not respect borders nor recognize political disputes,” Blinken said. “Taiwan offers valuable contributions and lessons learned from its approach to these issues, and WHO leadership and all responsible nations should recognize that excluding the interests of 24 million people at the WHA serves only to imperil, not advance, our shared global health objectives.”

“Taiwan is a reliable partner, a vibrant democracy, and a force for good in the world, and its exclusion from the WHA would be detrimental to our collective international efforts to get the pandemic under control and prevent future health crises.”

Taiwan’s top representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim thanked Blinken for his commitment to supporting the self-ruling island’s international participation, and for his leadership working with allies like G7 for common principles.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office also posted Blinken’s statement and thanked him for highlighting Taiwan as a force for good in the world.

“The people of Taiwan deeply appreciate this support! #LetTaiwanHelp,” it tweeted.

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