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New Zealand Joins Australia, US To Return Taiwan To WHO Amid Pandemic

Foreign Minister Winston Peters called Taiwan the standout “world success story on COVID-19" and backed its inclusion in the WHO, local media reported.

New Zealand

Despite criticism from China, New Zealand as of May 7 jumps on board with the United States and Australia to return Taiwan to the World Health Organisation. Foreign Minister Winston Peters called Taiwan the standout “world success story on COVID-19", the local media reported. Winston Peters told a press conference that New Zealand has joined a number of countries to put Taiwan back on WHO as an observer, like in 2016.  

Taiwan has contained the pandemic in a way that the rest of the world can learn from, and every country including China must look forward to being a part of that success story, Peters reportedly said. Earlier, Health Minister of Taiwan, on May 6, appealed to the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide access to first-hand information about the coronavirus, according to reports. Chen Shih-Chung said that the lack of information slowed the pandemic’s containment efforts in the province after it was banished from WHO on the recommendation of the People's Republic of China.  

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In a remarkable containment effort, Taiwan was one of the first countries to close borders to China during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, as per media reports. Not just that, the province enacted effective strategies that kept the population of 24 million to 439 cases and 6 fatalities. However, the inclusion of Taiwan in the WHO has been a matter of geopolitical contention between the United States and China. President Donald Trump criticized China’s belligerence with respect to Taiwan and allies Australia and Canada are among supporters of the USA's position, media reports confirmed. 

China opposed the decision

China's Ambassador in Wellington, Wu Xi, announced for Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern government in state media address saying, there is one China in the world, and Taiwan is a part of China. Further, he warned that the world was at a “critical stage” in its battle against the global pandemic. But the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan region was making reckless political maneuvers, he added. Wu Xi, accused Taiwan saying that the province’s real intention was 'independence' employing pandemic as a strategy, China’s state media confirmed. However, New Zealand’s Peters said in a further statement that his country’s stance wasn’t “political or geostrategic". 

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