HomeTaiwanese AmericanSenators call out Taiwan's ban from World Health Organization

Senators call out Taiwan’s ban from World Health Organization

The exclusion of Taiwan from the World Health Organization could leave the world vulnerable to a global health crisis, warned a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators.

Taiwan has been excluded from the upcoming World Health Assembly which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland on May 27.

“Denying Taiwan the opportunity to participate in the WHO and WHA not only hinders Taiwan’s 23 million people but also weakens the global health architecture’s ability to respond effectively to health challenges,” wrote U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)  “As the world continues to navigate the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergent health threats, it is more critical than ever to leverage every resource available to advance the resilience of global health systems.”

The Taipei Economic and Culture Office in San Francisco tells AsAmNews there are 800 international flights through Taiwan Airport every day, including 51 direct flights weekly from San Francisco to Taipei. Any health crisis in Taiwan could easily spread to other parts of the world, it says, making it more important than ever in the wake of COVID-19 for Taiwan to participate with the world health community.

California is home to a vibrant array of Taiwanese and Taiwanese American communities who have come to the US to build businesses, advance their education, develop new technologies, and more. Currently, there are more than half million Taiwanese immigrants residing in California, Nevada and Utah. Over the years, these communities have advanced the economic, educational, cultural, and technological exchange between Taiwan and California, strengthening the long term relationship between the two states. As it stands, Taiwan is California’s third largest trading partner. Thus, California is no stranger to Taiwan’s international contributions.  

“Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHO creates a gap in global health security and public health advancement,” the Director General of Taipei Economic and Culture Office in San Francisco said to AsAmNews. “Taiwan’s population of 23.5 million people deserve equal access to health as a human right. Thus, we call on our allies and friends from democratic countries to support Taiwan’s regular inclusion as an observer in WHO mechanisms, starting with the 77th World Health Assembly this year.”

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