The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected Taiwan’s bid to join its annual assembly as China continues to use diplomatic pressure to isolate the island.
World Health Assembly (WHA) President Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh, also Djibouti’s health minister, said in a statement that they would not admit Taiwan to the annual assembly as an observer, rejecting a proposal from 13 WHO members.
Taiwan is excluded from most international organizations because of Beijing’s objections. China insists that the island is not a sovereign country but one of its provinces.
Abdilleh said the decision followed a recommendation from the General Committee which discussed the proposal on Sunday.
The United States and Britain both have shown support for Taiwan after the decision.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Taiwan is invaluable to the global health community.
“Taiwan and its distinct capabilities and approaches – including its significant public health expertise, democratic governance, resilience to COVID-19, and robust economy – offer considerable value to inform the WHA’s deliberations,” Blinken said in a statement.
“There’s clearly no health crisis to justify not including Taiwan as an observer of the WHO,” British health minister Sajid Javid told the assembly.
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