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MOFA regrets with dissatisfaction the 76th WHA’s decision to not include a proposal item to invite Taiwan as observer

  • Date:2023-05-22
  • Data Source:Department of International Organizations

May 22, 2023

No. 170


The 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) commenced on May 21. Twelve of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, as members of the World Health Organization (WHO), submitted a proposal item to invite Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer. They also nominated representatives to participate in the two-plus-two debates in opposition to the Chinese side at the General Committee and the plenary session. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) expresses deep regret and dissatisfaction at the WHA’s final decision to not include the proposal in its agenda.


MOFA sincerely thanks Belize, Nauru, Eswatini, and the Marshall Islands for calling for justice on Taiwan’s behalf at the debates and for highlighting the importance and urgency of facilitating Taiwan’s participation in global public health governance. The health ministers of the four diplomatic allies unanimously stressed that Taiwan has won widespread global recognition for its active contributions to the world’s health security over the past several decades, including its sharing of medical expertise and provision of antipandemic supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. They emphasized that Taiwan is an indispensable and prominent member of the international community and of paramount importance to the global health security network. Taiwan’s participation in the WHA is a global public health issue, and politics should not be allowed to take precedence over professionalism. To exclude Taiwan from the WHA because of political pressure from China is not only unfair and unjust but also poses a serious threat to global health.


Taiwan’s diplomatic allies also rebutted the false statements being promoted by the Chinese side, particularly the deliberately distorted and erroneous political interpretations of UNGA Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1, advanced by the Chinese delegate and by Cuban and Pakistani representatives at China’s behest. Representatives on the Chinese side inappropriately linked the resolutions to Beijing’s so-called “one China principle” and made fallacious claims that Taiwan’s international participation requires China’s consent and, contrary to reality, that Taiwan enjoys unobstructed access to channels for technical participation in WHO. Taiwan’s diplomatic allies spoke out for Taiwan, standing up to thwart China’s duplicitous and calculated attempts to mislead the international community. They stressed that the resolutions categorically did not authorize China to represent Taiwan in the UN system, given that neither Taiwan nor China is subordinate to the other and that only the government of Taiwan has the right and responsibility to ensure the welfare of the Taiwanese people. They urged WHO not to repeatedly use these resolutions, which make absolutely no mention of Taiwan, as excuses for excluding Taiwan.


MOFA strongly condemns China for its continuous and unscrupulous attempts to obstruct Taiwan’s participation in international organizations. China’s attempts to use falsehoods to conceal its heavy-handed and unreasonable actions aimed at suppressing the right to health of the Taiwanese people, along with its widespread disinformation, are contemptible. MOFA solemnly reiterates that neither the Republic of China (Taiwan) nor the People’s Republic of China is subordinate to the other. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime has never exercised jurisdiction over Taiwan. Regardless of how the CCP distorts Taiwan’s sovereign status, it cannot change the objective reality of the existence of the R.O.C. (Taiwan). Only the democratically elected government of Taiwan can represent its 23 million people in WHO and other international organizations and safeguard the right to health of the Taiwanese people.


The global disease prevention network should not be subject to political interference from any single country, nor to the breaches this creates. China’s heavy-handed obstruction of Taiwan’s participation and contributions runs counter to the estimable goal of “Health for All” enshrined in the WHO Constitution. It also fuels the international community’s antipathy to China and fails to deter Taiwan from its commitment to engage with the world. MOFA will continue to work with diplomatic allies and like-minded nations, jointly urging WHO to accept Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the WHA and to enable Taiwan’s participation in all WHO meetings, events, and mechanisms on a regular basis. (E)