11/06/2020, 09.57
TAIWAN
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Millions of doctors call for Taipei's admission to the WHO Assembly

The request is contained in a letter sent to the organization's director general. Due to Chinese pressure, the island is excluded from the WHO decision-making body. All of this is "cynical" and "counterproductive". The crux of participation as an "observer" country. 644 EU parliamentarians also support the Taiwanese cause. The island has had great success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic: less than 600 cases of contagion and seven deaths.

Geneva (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The World Medical Association, which represents 10 million doctors, is calling for Taiwan’s admission to the Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO). The request is contained in a letter sent yesterday to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the United Nations health agency.

On the back of pressure from China, Taipei is excluded from the WHO decision-making body. It has asked to be admitted to meetings as an observer country. Beijing opposes this, arguing that the island is not a sovereign state, but a "rebellious" province, to be reunified by force if necessary. The Chinese regime maintains China that must present the Taiwanese petitions to the WHO, on condition that the Taiwanese government recognizes the "one China principle".

According to the Medical Association, it is "cynical" and "counterproductive" to continue to leave Taiwan out of WHO Assembly meetings. The island is one of the countries that has achieved the best results in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic: currently it has less than 600 cases of contagion and seven deaths.

The Taiwanese issue should be addressed during the next session of the Assembly, which will be held from November 9 to 14. In the previous meeting, which was downsized and online in May due to the coronavirus, the WHO authorities did not want to take a position on Taipei's requests. Tedros dismissed the matter by declaring that it is for the Member States to decide. The island's authorities argue that the WHO can make a decision independently on the possible entry of a country with observer status.

In recent months, international support for Taiwan’s participation in the Assembly has grown. The United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have expressed themselves openly to this effect. As revealed yesterday by the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry, 644 members of the European Parliament also turned to WHO to support the cause of Taipei. In a recent letter to the organization, they recall that everyone's contribution is needed to overcome the pandemic emergency, especially a country that has something to teach in combating lung disease.

Taiwan is one of the founding members of WHO; it has not been a member since 1972, when its seat at the UN was assigned to Communist China. Taiwanese representatives attended the meetings of the WHO Assembly from 2009 to 2016, at the time of the thaw between the nationalist administration in Kuomintang and Beijing.

The island has in fact been autonomous from China since 1949; at the time, Chiang Kai-shek's nationalists found refuge there after losing the civil war on the continent against the Communists, making it the de-facto heir to the Republic of China founded in 1912.

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