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Taiwan has 'Plan B' if not invited to WHA: foreign minister
Publish Date: 2017/05/02
Update Date: 2017/05/02
Taipei, May 1 (CNA) The government will implement its Plan B if Taiwan is not invited to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) this year, Foreign Minister David Lee said on Monday.

The minister, however, did not offer any details on what such a plan might involve.

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.

Taiwan first attended the WHA as an observer in 2009, a year after the government of former President Ma Ying-jeou came to power and pursued a more conciliatory policy toward Beijing. Since then, Taipei has sent a delegation to Geneva every year but has not yet received an invitation to the upcoming meeting.

There are concerns that Beijing might try to block Taiwan's invitation to the WHA this year, in light of increasingly strained cross-strait relations since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016.

Asked about the matter during a legislative hearing, Lee said he believes the Taiwanese people will consider it an insult if Taiwan is not invited to the WHA this year.

According to Lee, the majority of people in Taiwan do not understand why Beijing will not allow Taiwan to take part even as an observer in such non-political organizations as WHA.

If Beijing understood the feelings of the Taiwanese people, it would discard its old way of thinking and approach the issue with a new attitude, he said.

In an interview with Reuters last week, Tsai said whether Taiwan is able to attend this year's WHA is a key indicator of the state of cross-Taiwan Strait relations and she urged the leaders of mainland China to avoid policies that would be counterproductive to the development of improved cross-strait ties. 
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