Taiwan attempt to participate in this year's World Health Assembly (WHA) failed because of objection from China. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses deep regret and strong dissatisfaction with this decision. President Tsai said Taiwan will not abandon its efforts to participate in international organizations actively.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has become one of the most successful countries to sustain the virus, with only 440 confirmed cases and seven deaths reported. With this achievement, Taiwan authorities have been striving to join this year's WHA but failed. This is the fourth consecutive year that Taiwan has not been invited to the WHA.
During a briefing at the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, Tsai said the WHO's decision to exclude Taiwan from this year's World Health Assembly (WHA), which began Monday as an abbreviated virtual meeting, was based on political pressure.
"The WHO's secretariat has again, under pressure, refused to invite Taiwan to attend the WHA, and I would like to use this opportunity to express my solemn protest," she said. "Refusing Taiwan's participation because of political factors does not conform to the common interests of the international community."
The WHO's refusal to invite Taiwan to this year's WHA is generally considered to have stemmed from political pressure by China, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory.
Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer from 2009 to 2016, when Taipei and Beijing's relations were better under the then-Kuomintang administration.
Since 2017, however, China reportedly has pressured the WHO not to invite Taiwan, in line with Beijing's hardline stance on cross-Taiwan Strait relations since Tsai of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016. China strongly objected to Taiwan taking part in the assembly unless it accepted it was part of China.
In Tsai administration, they refused to accept China's "one country, two systems" model that "belittles" Taiwan. Since then, China has been pressuring international bodies to exclude Taiwan from participating in global organizations.
Tsai said Taiwan is already an independent state called the Republic of China, its official name.
Meanwhile, After a landslide election victory in January, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has been inaugurated for a second term. Secretary of State Pompeo congratulated her with an official statement, stating that the US would like to continue to have a great partner relationship with Taiwan.
"I would like to congratulate Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on the commencement of her second term as Taiwan's President. Her re-election by a huge margin shows that she has earned the respect, admiration, and trust of the people on Taiwan. Her courage and vision in leading Taiwan's vibrant democracy is an inspiration to the region and the world."