A group of local Taiwanese organizations in California held a press conference on May 18 and requested the World Health Organization (WHO) to allow Taiwan to attend the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA). They pointed out that WHO should not succumb to pressure from Beijing over discrimination against Taiwan.
The 74th WHA will be effectively held from May 24th to June 1st due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WHA is the WHO decision-making body.
The press conference was held on Tuesday at the Cultural Center of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECO) in Milpitas. The event will be attended by local Taiwanese associations and other groups such as Taiwan American Center Northern California, Hong Foundation, Cupertino-Taichung Friendship Cities Association, Cupertino-Taichung Friendship Cities Association, Chongshin University Alumni Association Northern California, San Jose Taiwan Community Care. Did. Network, and Taiwan’s Overseas Community Issues Council.
“This year is important [for Taiwan to attend the WHA] To prove that Taiwan does not belong to China, “said John Zie, the organizer of the press conference and a member of the local Taiwan Love Association.
Tsieh called on WHO to recognize Taiwan as a formal member, noting that Taipei’s observer status was created only under political pressure from the Chinese administration.
“”[The] Taiwanese deserve basic health rights. WHO is an organization in the world and needs to manage the health and well-being of all people in the world. [people living in] “Taiwan,” said Ping Ping Lee, an adviser to the Cupertino-Taichung Friendship Cities Association.
Lee Seung-yuop insisted that there was no discrimination against Taiwan.
The association is based in Cupertino, Taiwan’s populous northern California city. Cupertino and Taichung City, Taiwan signed an agreement to become sister cities in October 2016. This includes a cultural exchange program that strengthens the relationship between the two cities.
Taiwan has been regarded as a successful model for stopping the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the new coronavirus. As of the end of April, less than 1,200 infections were recorded on a small island with a population of approximately 23.5 million. However, in the recent outbreak this month, the number of infections has almost doubled.
Lee Seung-yuop expressed deep concern about the current situation and requested that Taiwan be allowed to participate in the upcoming WHA at WHO. She said it was important for the island to have access to WHO’s information system.
Taiwan was previously able to participate in WHA as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei” from 2009 to 2016. At that time, Taiwan had a closer trade relationship with China under former President Ma Ying-jeou.
However, in 2017, Beijing blocked Taiwan from participating in WHA. The Chinese administration opposes Taiwan’s participation in international organizations because it considers the island of democracy as part of its territory, despite having been governed as a separate organization for over 70 years. .. Beijing continues to pressure WHO and the international community to support the “One China” policy.
Since Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, Taiwan has moved away from mainland China as Tsai Ing-wen has been facing the threat of Beijing.
“I urge WHO to invite Taiwan to the World Health Assembly as an observer,” Teresa Ken said at a press conference. Ken is a councilor in Fremont, another Northern California city with a large Taiwanese community. Ken is also an advisor to the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“The virus has no borders … 23 million people in Taiwan should not be excluded from WHO for political reasons,” Roy Yen, director of TECO’s Cultural Center in Milpitas, said at a meeting. He praised the efforts of the local Taiwanese community in lobbying Taiwan.
“Please let Taiwan join the WHA this year. Catalina Gil, President of the San Jose Taiwan Community Care Network, said: Gil is also a member of the Taiwanese Community Affairs Council.
Gil said Taiwan’s success in dealing with pandemics over the past 17 months could help WHO’s global efforts. She also criticized Beijing’s recent move to prevent Taiwan from obtaining Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines.
German company BioNTech collaborated with American pharmaceutical company Pfizer on the development of the first vaccine approved by WHO last December. It was widely reported that BioNTech withdrew from the $ 5 million vaccine deal with Taiwan at the last minute.Taiwanese Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said on the radio interview In February, the transaction failure was due to “political pressure” from China. A spokesman for China’s Taiwan Secretariat denied Beijing’s involvement in the case.
Earlier this month, G7 (Group of Seven) countries (US, Japan, UK, France, Germany, Canada and Italy) called for Taiwan to join the WHA. “… the international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all its partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic effort,” said the G7.