Taiwan seeks attendance to World Health Assembly, faces setbacks

Feng Xue
By Feng Xue
April 25, 2017Worldshare

Taiwan is trying to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA). It is the meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations group.

However, getting access to the meeting is more difficult this year. The self-ruling island has attended the WHA as an observer since 2009 under a special arrangement with Beijing.

That was under former President Ma Yingjeou, whose Chinese Nationalist Party is friendly with China.

China had warned in 2016 that Taiwan would no longer be invited if the new leader Tsai Ing-wen didn’t accept that Taiwan is part of China.

Taiwan is not part of the U.N., which recognizes Beijing’s “one China.”

Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang told a regular news briefing that their efforts this time had not been as smooth as before. Taiwan has been lobbying the WHA to attend the meeting and has called on its allies, including the United States, as well as nongovernment bodies to help, she said.

Beijing sees Taiwan as a breakaway province. The two sides split after the Chinese civil war in 1949.

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