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Pressuring Taiwan on WHA bad for combating disease: spokesman
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2017/04/26
Taipei, April 25 (CNA) Preventing Taiwan attending the world Health Assembly (WHA) is not only unfair to the people in Taiwan, but will also have a negative impact on global efforts to combat disease, a spokesman from the Presidential Office said Tuesday.

Lin He-ming made the remarks in response to the continued uncertainty as to whether Taiwan will receive an invitation to this year's WHA.

Visiting American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty said earlier that day 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.

Lin said Taiwan welcomes Moriarty's visit and thanked the U.S. government for supporting Taiwan's bid to attend the meeting.

Lin said health knows no borders and there will be a gap in the fight against disease if Taiwan was excluded from the WHA.

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.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Tuesday that Taiwan's bid to take part in this year's meeting encountered more obstacles than in past years.

MOFA spokesperson Eleanor Wang said the situation is more difficult and complex this year.

In China, Sun Yafu, vice president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, which is in charge of cross-strait civilian exchanges, said China will handle Taiwan's participation in the WHA based on the "one China" principle.

Taiwan's relations with China have soured since the Democratic Progressive Party's Tsai Ing-wen took office as president in May 2016.

Beijing has frozen official talks between the two sides because the Tsai Administration 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).

Taiwan first participated in the WHA as an observer in 2009, one year after Ma Ying-jeou became president and went on to pursue a more conciliatory policy toward China. 
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