Taiwan Renews Push To Attend WHA; E.U. Proposing Assembly Call For Independent Probe Into Novel Coronavirus Origin

AP: Taiwan makes new push for inclusion in World Health Assembly
“Taiwan’s exclusion from the upcoming World Health Assembly would harm the global response to the coronavirus pandemic and cannot be excused by mere rules of procedure, the island’s health minister said on Wednesday. Chen Shih-chung told international media at a news conference that global health officials ‘have not been honest and failed in their responsibilities,’ in an apparent reference to the U.N. World Health Organization that oversees the assembly…” (Lai, 5/6).

Bloomberg: E.U. Backs Independent Probe Into Origins of Coronavirus
“The European Union will put forward a proposal to the World Health Assembly calling for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus. The E.U. is a co-sponsor of the plan that will be put forward at the assembly’s May 18 meeting, European Commission spokeswoman Virginie Battu-Henriksson said by email Tuesday. The bloc is consulting with World Health Organization members and regional groups on the wording of the proposal, she added. … The meeting of the WHO’s decision-making body later this month is shaping up as a test of China’s diplomatic standing in the wake of the pandemic. In addition to calls for an independent probe, nations such as the U.S. are also pushing to reinstate Taiwan — which Beijing views as a province — as an observer to the assembly…” (Scott et al., 5/5).

Reuters: Give us first-hand information to fight virus, Taiwan asks WHO
“…Taiwan has produced a list of complaints against the WHO, including that it gave wrong case numbers for Taiwan, ignored requests for information, and has bent to Chinese pressure to interfere with the island’s requests for help. Both the WHO and China say Taiwan has been provided with the help it needs. China says only it has the right to speak for Taiwan’s 23 million people internationally, a claim Taipei’s democratically elected government angrily rejects. Taiwan has stepped up its campaign to attend, as an observer, this month’s virtual meeting of the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA), though government and diplomatic sources say China will not agree to that…” (Blanchard/Hamacher, 5/6).

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