Secretary of State Antony Blinken is demanding that Taiwan be allowed at the World Health Assembly later this month, despite protests from Chinese officials and delegates.
The Department of State released a press statement on Friday titled “Restoring Taiwan’s Appropriate Place at the World Health Assembly,” criticizing the Assembly’s decision to exclude Taiwan from the meeting due to China’s protests.
“There is no reasonable justification for Taiwan’s continued exclusion from this forum.” The statement read in part, calling for World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom to invite Taiwan as an “observer” to the assembly.
Restoring Taiwan’s Appropriate Place at the World Health Assembly – United States Department of State https://t.co/GcCKq09QCT
— Russell Hsiao (@lcrhsiao) May 7, 2021
Blinken said that Taiwan offered “valuable contributions and lessons learned from its approach to these issues,” further adding that preventing the country from participation would “imperil, not advance” global health objectives at the meeting.
The statement comes after Beijing strongly opposed the inclusion of Taiwan, rejecting the notion that the island was sovereign territory and instead asserting, as usual, that the island is a part of China, The Hill reported. (RELATED: Top Chinese Diplomat Says US ‘Too Negative’ Toward China Amid Rising Tensions)
“The participation of China’s Taiwan region in activities of international organizations, including the WHO, which consists of sovereign nations, must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Wenbin said, according to The Hill.
A G-7 communique, which included the United States, supported Taiwan’s participation in the assembly.
????G7 communique on China:
– call on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms
– highlighted Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong
– support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in WHO
– encourage China to act responsibly in cyber space pic.twitter.com/mKXe1TAQxI
— Stuart Lau (@StuartKLau) May 5, 2021
“The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read in part.
China has grown increasingly hostile towards Taiwan in recent months as the island continues to defy the Communist Party, with the U.S. military warning that the threat of a Chinese attack on Taiwan was “accelerating.”