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Support Taiwan on the International Stage

09:00 AM May 19, 2019

The 72nd World Health Assembly (WHA), the highest policy-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), will be convened in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 20 to 28, 2019. Taiwan will be excluded from the WHA for the third year in a row, as the WHO is facing political pressure from China.

The 23 million people of Taiwan are suffering from deprivation of their global health rights, which is extremely unfair. As the world’s 22nd biggest economy, Taiwan’s participation in the WHA should not be subject to China’s bullying and interference. Taiwan has the rights it deserves to participate in the WHA. The health rights of the 23 million Taiwanese people should not be ignored.

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Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the WHA will allow its full contribution to the global village in terms of abundant medical experiences, resources, and excellent medical professionals. Taiwan’s medical professionals can do so much more to interact with other medical experts in the global medical community, if it is freed from the political shackles imposed by an overbearing China which is trying to suffocate Taiwan and its people’s breathing space in the international arena.

Regrettably, by blocking Taiwan’s bid to join the WHO has put Taiwan at public health risk and made a dangerous loophole in the global public health front.

However, to exclude Taiwan from taking part in the WHA has garnered unprecedented support for Taiwan from the international community. As the Chinese oppression increases, the international support for Taiwan is growing. More importantly, support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA has become more direct, more diverse and much stronger than ever before.

For example, members of Parliament in Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Chile separately submitted written appeals to the WHO calling for Taiwan to be included in the WHA. The United States, EU, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Japan, Australia and many more countries have already publicly voiced support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.

Disease recognizes no borders. Unexpected epidemic diseases may come too quickly. A concerted global effort is the only way to effectively ensure health and welfare of the people around the world. It is not just to protect the people in Taiwan, but also to protect the people of the entire world, including the Philippines.

The Philippines is Taiwan’s closest neighboring country to the South. There are 150,000 Filipinos working in Taiwan and millions of Filipinos have traveled through Taiwan. Given the bilateral robust relations between our two countries, to protect our peoples’ health have become an important issue.

I hereby sincerely call on the Philippine government, Congress, health institutions, and the general public to support Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Assembly and related technical meetings, mechanisms, and activities.

Taiwan is one of the most important links of the global disease prevention network and a worthy as well as reliable partner that can help countries around the world achieve the meaningful goal of universal health coverage by 2030. Health for all, Taiwan can help.

Peiyung Hsu

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Representative

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines

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TAGS: Letter to the Editor, Taiwan, World Health Assembly (WHA)
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