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Tsai regrets exclusion from World Health Assembly
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Taipei, May 9 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday tweeted a message criticizing the World Health Organization (WHO) for "excluding Taiwan from WHA" (World Health Assembly), saying such an act "contravenes the very founding principles of" the WHO.

In a statement, the Presidential Office of the Republic of China (ROC) expressed "our strong disappointment and displeasure following Taiwan's lack of invitation to this year's WHA."

The statement called on the WHO to recognize the fact that "Taiwan is an integral part of the global disease prevention system and that the 23 million people of Taiwan have an inalienable right to equal treatment in health."

The statement was attached to a tweet Tsai posted at about 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The annual WHA meeting will open in Geneva on May 22, while the deadline for the meeting's online registration expired at 6 a.m. Tuesday Taiwan time.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said several countries have indicated they would like to meet with Taiwan's representatives on the sidelines of the WHA meeting.

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung, who is scheduled to head a delegation to Geneva at the time of the WHA meeting despite the lack of an invitation, will hold a press conference and meet with representatives of other countries in Geneva, according to the MOFA.

Taiwan attended the WHA meeting as an observer from 2009 to 2016, under the name Chinese Taipei.

The WHO's "goal is to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world," while the WHO's "primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations' system."

The Republic of China (ROC) was one of the founding members of the United Nations in 1945 and one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council until 1971, when it was replaced by the People's Republic of China (PRC).