Taiwan pushed for its participation in the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a ministerial call with the United States on April 27 to discuss key health issues. Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare Shih-Chung Chen held a teleconference with US Health Secretary Alex Azar to exchange COVID-19 prevention strategies and share their views regarding “global health security”.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said that Secretary Azar praised the self-governing island republic on its COVID-19 containment and thanked it for providing masks to the United States. The ministry added that Chen expressed his appreciation for the cooperation between the US and Taiwan on efforts to combat the virus and for the strong support extended by Washington on Taiwan’s participation in the UN health agency.
The issue of Taiwan’s participation in international organisations like WHO has gained momentum especially after US President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act into law on March 26. The TAIPEI Act, authored by US Senators Cory Gardner and Chris Coons, aimed at strengthening Taiwan’s standing around the world.
“Minister Chen told Secretary Azar that he hopes the US will continue to support for Taiwan’s full participation in the World Health Assembly as observer and WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities,” said the ministry in a statement.
According to the ministry, the US Health Secretary has reaffirmed continued support from the US on expanding Taiwan’s participation in the WHO and global health arena. Azar took to Twitter to emphasise the need for global health partnership and appreciated Taiwan’s contribution towards it.
This morning I spoke with Minister Chen of Taiwan regarding the #COVID19 outbreak. I thanked him for Taiwan’s efforts to share their best practices and resources with the U.S.— Secretary Alex Azar (@SecAzar) April 27, 2020
Now, more than ever, global health partnership is crucial and I appreciate Taiwan’s contributions. pic.twitter.com/SZQ3u8Jgrr