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MOFA welcomes Philippine government’s decision to lift travel ban, and calls on WHO to rectify inappropriate classification of Taiwan
February 14, 2020
No. 048

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) welcomes the decision made by the government of the Republic of the Philippines on February 14 to immediately lift the travel ban on Taiwanese nationals that was recently imposed in response to the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. MOFA thanks all agencies and individuals that provided assistance in bringing about this positive development.
 
The decision in favor of Taiwan was made following a meeting of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease of the Philippines in the afternoon of February 14, at which interdepartmental discussions were held that acknowledged and recognized Taiwan’s strict measures and efforts to control the epidemic.

MOFA will continue to communicate to the international community that Taiwan has so far effectively controlled the COVID-19 spread. The Taiwan government has strengthened and fully enforced epidemic prevention measures. Taiwan has also been advocating transparency in providing information concerning the outbreak, for which it has received widespread international acclaim.
 
MOFA once again solemnly calls on the World Health Organization to keep politics out of public health and epidemic prevention work and to recognize that Taiwan and China are two separate jurisdictions, neither subordinate to the other. WHO should remain professional and non-political, and promptly rectify its inappropriate classification of Taiwan. Based on incorrect definitions, WHO lists Taiwan as part of areas of China affected by COVID-19. This has caused misunderstanding in the international community and led certain countries to issue travel bans for Taiwanese nationals or unilaterally bar flights from Taiwan, severely impacting global aviation and people’s travel rights.
 
In addition, MOFA also again urges WHO to invite Taiwan to take part in the 2020 World Health Assembly and other WHO technical meetings, mechanisms, and events. The Taiwan government reiterates that only when the 23 million people of Taiwan are comprehensively included in the WHO system can the international community be assured that there are no gaps and loopholes in the global epidemic prevention network. (E)
新聞稿號碼:No. 048