FM says back-up plan for Taiwan’s WHA attendance in place

Foreign Minister David Lee says the government has a back-up plan in place in the event that it is unable to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA). Lee was speaking Monday in an interview.

The WHA is the convening body of the World Health Organization (WHO). It will hold its annual meeting in Geneva in late May. Taiwan has attended for the past eight years as an observer. This year, however, there has been no invitation, as a result of pressure from China.

Lee said several allied nations have already spoken out in favor of Taiwan's attendance but he is not optimistic about the situation. Lee said the government will take steps if it does not receive an invitation by next Monday, but he declined to comment further.

Last year, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan mentioned the one China principle in her letter of invitation. It was reported that she might toe the China line again.

Lee said President Tsai Ing-wen's Twitter posts about the bid to attend the WHA meeting can help the world understand Taiwan's stance.

I think the [posts] are, of course, one of our strategies. They show our dissatisfaction [because] it's unfair that we cannot join a non-political body that's expressly for medical care and public health," said Lee.

Source: Radio Taiwan International