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MOFA thanks US, Canada, Japan, EU for publicly supporting Taiwan’s attendance at 71st WHA
May 15, 2018
No. 101


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanks the United States, Canada, Japan, and the European Union (EU) for taking a firm stance in publicly supporting Taiwan’s attendance at the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA), and for the expressions of regret and disappointment that the US and Canada have made regarding the fact that Taiwan has received no invitation to date. Such public expressions of support highlight Taiwan’s indispensable efforts in matters of global public health and safety, and demonstrate other nations’ ardent hope that the World Health Organization (WHO) should issue an invitation to Taiwan on the basis of safeguarding the health and wellbeing of all humankind.

On May 9, the American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei Office (AIT/T) issued a Facebook post stating that “the United States strongly supports Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the World Health Assembly.” Responding to questions from the media, AIT/T Spokesperson Sonia Urbom said that “we are greatly dismayed that China has once again blocked Taiwan from receiving an invitation to attend.”

Also on May 9, Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for the EU’s European External Action Service, responding to a reporter’s inquiry, said that “the European Union … supports practical solutions regarding Taiwan’s participation in international frameworks,” and that Taiwan’s participation would also be welcome in WHO technical meetings, as this was in the interests of the EU and the world.

On May 10, responding to a question from Garnett Genuis, deputy shadow minister for foreign affairs, during a debate in the Canadian House of Commons, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Matt DeCourcey said that the Canadian government “certainly continues to support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international multilateral fora, where its presence provides important contributions to the global public good,” adding that “Canada is disappointed that Taiwan did not receive an invitation this year.”

On May 14, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association issued a Facebook post stating that Japan has consistently supported Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, and that it will continue to support Taiwan’s participation in order to prevent gaps in disease prevention and control.

As an old saying goes, “The virtuous are never alone; they are sure to enjoy the company of others.” MOFA thanks these like-minded nations and the EU for actively assisting Taiwan, and invites other countries to do the same. MOFA also urges WHO to invite Taiwan to the 71st WHA, as well as support Taiwan’s equal and dignified participation in WHO mechanisms, meetings, and activities.(E)