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Taiwan Excluded from WHO Annual Assembly Following Chinese Opposition

The World Health Organisation (WHO) logo is seen near its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, February 2, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
The World Health Organisation (WHO) logo is seen near its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, February 2, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Taiwan failed on Monday in its efforts to gain an invitation to the World Health Organization’s annual assembly despite the island’s assertion that support was growing for its participation.

The annual assembly in Geneva decided not to extend Taiwan an invitation to the event, which runs from May 21-30. China and Pakistan urged members to reject Taiwan’s inclusion, while the Marshall Islands spoke in favor.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and says the island is not a separate country but part of “one China” governed by Beijing. China’s insistence that Taiwan is not a country means that the island is excluded from many international organisations.

Taiwan condemned the WHO decision, saying it was “contemptible” of China to block its participation in global bodies and that Beijing had no right to speak for the island.

“Only Taiwan’s democratically elected government can represent Taiwan’s 23 million people in the WHO and other international organizations and protect the health and human rights of the Taiwanese people,” its foreign ministry said.

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