It’s that time of year again—time for Taiwan to beg to be given a seat at the table during the World Health Assembly’s virtual global health meeting on May 24th.
Why does Taiwan, a country with a total of 12 COVID deaths and a total 1,178 cases (as of last week) need to lobby so hard? The answer is simple: China is in charge.
The assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, which we all know has been doing China’s bidding from the get-go. As we’ve written at the New York Post time and time again, “It’s been clear from the pandemic’s start that WHO is in Beijing’s pocket, actively working to help cover up the Chinese Communist Party’s misdeeds.”
It was one of the chief reasons the Trump administration terminated the United States’ relationship with the WHO, citing Beijing’s “total control” of it.
But as the Wall Street Journal editorial board notes on Tuesday, one of President Joe Biden’s first acts in office was to rejoin the WHO; this month’s virtual meeting will be “the first major test of the new administration’s ability to influence or reform the WHO.”
Color me skeptical.
On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there is “no reasonable justification for Taiwan’s continued exclusion from this forum,” adding that “Taiwan offers valuable contributions and lessons learned from its approach” to global health. A true understatement. Blinken also noted that G-7 nations support Taiwan’s presence during the meetings.
Not only has Taiwan had only 12 COVID deaths and just over a thousand cases, it also went eight months last year without a known domestic transmission.
Again from the Wall Street Journal: “These numbers are the envy of the world. But China, which covets the island democracy, wants to deny Taiwan any international recognition. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman last week condemned the G-7’s statement as ‘anachronistic block politics’ and ‘gross interference in Chinese sovereignty.’ China may have enough support from member nations to block Taiwan’s participation.”
Beijing (and the WHO) has blocked Taiwan before, and will likely pull it off again.
Taiwan just wants to be a part of the solution. As Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told the New York Post last year, “we hope we can exchange ideas” and “show the best practices in dealing with COVID-19.”
The WHO should be clamoring for Taiwan’s inclusion on May 24th.