Groups slam China for WHA exclusion

Taiwan pushes for inclusion in global health summit

Taiwan pushes for inclusion in global health summit

Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan executive director Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said representatives of the G8 countries had pushed for Taiwan's participation in the WHA - "a very significant diplomatic achievement" amid China's attempts to exclude Taiwan - and the government should form an inter-ministerial task force to ensure future participation.

In a statement released Tuesday, the council denounced Beijing's act of pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) and refraining it from extending an invitation to Taiwan to attend this year's WHA meeting. Even though Taiwan is not member of the United Nations and never formally takes part in U.N. meetings, it has been given observer status at some conferences with Beijing's acquiescence in the past.

China views democratic Taiwan as a renegade province to be retaken with the use of force if necessary, and says other countries and global organisations should not recognise it or treat as a separate country.

China claims Taiwan which broke away from the mainland in 1949 as a part of the mainland. Beijing's refusal to assent this year has been attributed to its unhappiness with the policies of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leans towards formal independence from China.

Taiwan, as Chinese Taipei, had been participating in the WHA as an observer since 2009.

Under the "One China" principle, Beijing considers Taiwana rogue province of the people's republic.

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Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing Tuesday that "the one-China principle must be followed when dealing with Taiwan's participation in activities held by worldwide organizations".

World Health Organization spokesman Christian Lindmeier confirmed to reporters in Geneva Tuesday that the registration deadline for the assembly has now passed but said he believed discussions over Taiwan were continuing.

Since Tsai's election last year, China has also discouraged tourism to Taiwan, with Taiwan's government saying the number of Chinese visitors fell by more than 50 percent in the first four months of the year.

"The DPP has damaged the joint political basis of cross- strait relations, so the precondition for Taiwan to attend no longer exists", China's Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement yesterday.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang restated that position on Monday, when asked about the possibility of an invitation for Taiwan, adding at a regular briefing that China firmly opposed a "few individual countries" that had "made remarks" about Taiwan's attendance.