The European Union and 26 countries supported Taiwan at the World Health Assembly, while China had attempted to prevent Taiwan from being invited in previous years

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

The European Union and 26 countries have expressed support for Taiwan's participation during the 77th edition of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, reports Taiwan News. This comes after China exerted pressure to prevent Taiwan from being invited to the conference in previous years.

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In previous years, China has exerted pressure to prevent Taiwan from being invited to the annual World Health Organization (WHO) conference held in Switzerland.

However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a growing number of countries that say the group's “health for all” slogan should also apply to Taiwan.

During the event from May 27 to June 1, EU representative Marc Pechstein de Beauvoir said the WHO needs to promote international dialogue and cooperation and that no region should be left behind, Taiwan News reported.

Germany's Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the health organisation should reduce its bureaucracy and make use of Taiwan's professional expertise.

In addition, compared to last year, five more regions and countries have joined in raising their voices in support of Taiwan.

The new members include the European Union, the Netherlands, Latvia, New Zealand and Israel, Taiwan News reported, citing a report.

Health ministers and government representatives from the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg also defended the case for Taiwan's presence.

These 26 countries and territories included 10 of Taiwan's 11 diplomatic allies.

Taipei has not been invited, however, Health and Welfare Minister Chiu Tai-yuan visited Geneva for bilateral meetings as well as news conferences and exhibitions along with other delegations to support Taiwan’s case.

Tensions between Taiwan and China have been rising over the past few months. Last week, China began a two-day military exercise on May 23, encircling Taiwan and describing it as “punishment” for alleged “separatist acts.”

However, according to Focus Taiwan's report, despite rising tensions in the region, Taiwan remains firm in its commitment to defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity against potential threats using a combination of strategic foresight and strong defense capabilities.

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