May 8 (UPI) — Taiwan expressed “regret” after the World Health Organization did not extend an invitation to Taipei to the World Health Assembly.
Taiwan had been invited to WHA for eight consecutive years prior to 2017, Taiwan News reported Tuesday.
But increasing pressure from Beijing on the WHO and other agencies of the United Nations has taken a toll, according to the report.
Taiwan said it “calls for WHO to include Taiwan in WHA and conferences, mechanisms and activities affiliated with the organization, on the basis of upholding the human rights to global health activities and achieving disease prevention comprehensively.”
International NGOs are supporting Taiwan’s position.
On Monday, the World Medical Association representing more than 100 medical organizations said in a letter to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom they are disappointed in the WHO decision.
“We are concerned that the participation of Taiwan in global health activities of WHO might be extremely limited. Behind these restrictions we can see only political reasons. But as physicians we reject the idea of a political instrumentalization of global health,” they wrote.
Tensions have been brewing between China and Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen became president in 2016.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported Sunday a Taiwanese national who was to be the top editor at GQ China was dropped and replaced.
Editor-in-chief Blues To was dismissed after photos of him sporting a ribbon that read “take back the mainland” circulated in Chinese social media.
China does not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty as part of its One-China policy.