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World Health Organization denies Taiwan’s participation in annual assembly

Posted: Monday, May 22, 2023. 5:40 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: The World Health Organization (WHO) has once again denied Taiwan’s request to participate in its annual assembly. The meeting, set to take place in Geneva from May 21 to May 30, has excluded Taiwan, a decision warmly received by China.

China, which considers Taiwan part of its national territory, applauded the WHO’s rejection. “The rejection of the Taiwanese proposal by the World Health Assembly for many consecutive years shows that the ‘one China’ principle enjoys broad support among the international community and is in line with the trend of the times,” stated Chen Xu, Beijing’s representative at the United Nations office in Geneva.

Earlier this month, Taiwan’s Health Minister Hsueh Jui-yuan made a strong case for Taiwan’s observer status at the assembly. Hsueh noted that incorporating Taiwan’s intersectoral, innovative, and people-centered approach to health “would make the world healthier, more sustainable, and fairer”.

Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, lost its seat at the United Nations as the representative of Chinese territory in 1971. Since then, the majority of sovereign states have switched diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China, acknowledging it as the sole representative of “China” on the international stage.

As a result, Taiwan lacks independent representation in multilateral bodies and establishes its own informal embassies under the name Taipei. Only 13 countries – Belize, Eswatini, Guatemala, Haiti, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, and Vatican City – currently recognize Taiwan’s statehood, forming the core of the island’s formal diplomatic allies.

Despite its limited diplomatic recognition, Taiwan plays a crucial role in the global semiconductor industry and maintains trade relationships with a large number of countries, including the United States and several European nations. The central government operates from Taipei, serving as the de facto capital of Taiwan, although no de jure capital is recognized.

 

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