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Taiwan sent letter to WHO, has yet to receive reply: health ministry

ROC Central News Agency

05/03/2020 09:24 PM

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) recently sent a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) asking to participate in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA), but has yet to receive a reply, an MOHW official said Sunday.

The ministry sent a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asking to take part in the upcoming WHA, the decision-making body of the WHO, Liu Li-ling (劉麗玲), an official in the MOHW's Office of International Cooperation, told CNA.

Liu said the letter emphasized Taiwan's contributions to global health and the country's achievements in containing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.

The letter was sent "recently," Liu said, though no answer has yet been received from the WHO.

Even if Taiwan is not a member of the WHO, the country has actively shared its epidemic prevention experience with other nations, including the United States and the European Union, Liu said.

On Sunday Taiwan health officials held a teleconference with their Israeli counterparts to discuss the COVID-19 measures each side has taken, Liu added.

The WHA is scheduled to hold its 73rd session from May 17-21, though it may be conducted virtually due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

From 2009-2016, Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer under the name Chinese Taipei, amid better relations with China during the then-Kuomintang administration.

However, since 2017, China has persuaded the WHO not to invite Taiwan, in line with Beijing's hardline stance on cross-strait relations since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Chiang Yi-ching)


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