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'Further Damages WHO's Credibility': US Condemns World Health Assembly's Taiwan Exclusion

The US has condemned Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Assembly saying that WHO's DG chose not to invite the country under pressure from China.


The United States on Monday condemned Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Assembly saying that WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus chose not to invite the country under pressure from China.

"The United States condemns Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Assembly. At a time when the world continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need multilateral institutions to deliver on their stated missions and to serve the interests of all member states, not to play politics while lives are at stake," US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

'He instead chose not to invite China under pressure...'

Pompeo slammed Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saying his 'lack of independence' has further hit WHO's credibility. "WHO's Director-General Tedros had every legal power and precedent to include Taiwan in WHA's proceedings. Yet, he instead chose not to invite Taiwan under pressure from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Director-General's lack of independence deprives the Assembly of Taiwan's renowned scientific expertise on pandemic disease, and further damages the WHO's credibility and effectiveness at a time when the world needs it the most," said Pompeo.

The US Secretary of State stated, "The PRC's spiteful action to silence Taiwan exposes the emptiness of its claims to want transparency and international cooperation to fight the pandemic and makes the difference between China and Taiwan ever more stark."

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Taiwan's foreign ministry expresses 'strong dissatisfaction'

Meanwhile, Taiwan has said it will postpone its bid to join WHO after the secretariat did not invite the island to attend the World Health Assembly. "After careful deliberation, we have accepted the suggestion from our allies and like-minded nations to wait until the resumed session before further promoting our bid," island's Foreign Minister Joesph Wu said at a press conference on Monday, reported CNN.

READ | Taiwan says it won't press for WHA participation

He added that "the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses deep regret and strong dissatisfaction that the World Health Organization Secretariat has yielded to pressure from the Chinese government and continues to disregard the right to health of the 23 million people of Taiwan."

READ | Taiwan not invited for WHO meet; foreign minister agrees to put off issue for this year

Taiwan has enjoyed remarkable success in combatting the pandemic, with only seven deaths and some 400 infections despite its proximity and close commercial links with mainland China, where the disease was first identified. World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO) began its annual meeting on Monday.

READ | Not just Taiwan! US warns China it could reassess Hong Kong's status; fires warning at Xi

(With agency inputs)

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