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EU, 26 countries support Taiwan at World Health Assembly despite China’s attempt to prevent them from being invited in past years

Representative Image (Photo: Reuters)

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

In past years, China pressurised to prevent Taiwan from being invited to the annual World Health Organization (WHO) conference in Switzerland.

However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of countries saying the group’s “Health For All” slogan should also apply to Taiwan has been growing.

During the May 27-June 1 event, EU Representative Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve said the WHO needed to promote international negotiation and cooperation, leaving nobody and no area behind, Taiwan News reported.

Germany’s federal health minister, Karl Lauterbach, said the health organization should reduce its bureaucracy and use Taiwan’s professional expertise.

Moreover, compared to last year, five more regions and countries have joined those, who are raising their voice in support of Taiwan.

The newcomers included, the EU, the Netherlands, Latvia, New Zealand, and Israel, reported Taiwan News 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 attendance.

The 26 countries and regions 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 with other delegations and for news conferences and exhibitions to support Taiwan’s case.

Tensions between Taiwan and China have been rising in the past few months. Last week, China launched two-day-long military drills on May 23, surrounding Taiwan in what it called “punishment” for so-called “separatist acts.

However, as tensions continue to escalate in the region, Taiwan remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity against potential threats, utilising a combination of strategic foresight and robust defence capabilities, Focus Taiwan reported.