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AIT chairman reaffirms U.S. backing for Taiwan's WHA bid
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Taipei, April 25 (CNA) American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty on Tuesday expressed support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA), as uncertainty looms over whether the country will receive an invitation to this year's event.

The United States has welcomed Taiwan's participation in the WHA as an observer over the past eight years and looks forward to Taiwan's continued participation in the meeting, Moriarty said while addressing the opening of a public health workshop held in Taipei under the U.S.-Taiwan Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF).

The WHA, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), is scheduled to hold its latest session in Geneva from May 22 to May 31.

The deadline for online registration for this year's WHA session is May 8, but Taiwan has so far not received an invitation from the WHO.

Foreign Minister David Lee admitted last week that the chances of Taiwan taking part in the WHA this year are not promising, but he said his ministry was still working hard to push for an invitation.

As Taiwan's relations with China have cooled since the Democratic Progressive Party's Tsai Ing-wen took office as president in May 2016, there have been concerns that Beijing might try to block the WHO's invitation to Taiwan this year.

Beijing has frozen official talks between the two sides because Tsai's government refuses to endorse the "1992 consensus," which essentially implies that China and Taiwan are part of "one China."

Last year, Taiwan received a late invitation to the WHA that contained an unexpected reference to United Nations Resolution No. 2758, passed on Oct. 25, 1971, which recognizes the People's Republic of China as "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations" and expelled the representatives of the Republic of China.

Taiwan first participated in the WHA as an observer in 2009, one year after the Ma Ying-jeou government, which pursued a more conciliatory policy toward China, came to power.