US Health Secretary tweets support for Taiwan's participation in WHA

A number of allies and like-minded countries have spoken out in favor of Taiwan at the World Health Assembly

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U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar posts a photo of him with Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) via Twitter on May 21 (Screen capture from Tw

U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar posts a photo of him with Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) via Twitter on May 21 (Screen capture from Tw

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar reiterated the U.S. support for Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) via a Twitter post on Tuesday (May 21).

“The people of #Taiwan need a voice at #WHA,” said Azar, attaching a photo of him with Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中).

► (Screen capture from Alex Azar’s Twitter account)

The U.S. secretary’s post follows his remarks made during the WHA plenary session on Monday (May 20). “We regret that, once again, Taiwan was not invited to observe at this assembly, as they were from 2009 to 2016,” said Azar, who leads the U.S. delegation to the WHA.

“The 23 million people in Taiwan deserve a voice just as much as anyone else does,” the health secretary added.

Although Taiwan did not receive an invitation to the WHA this year, a Taiwan delegation, led by Chen, departed for a week-long trip to Geneva last Friday (May 17) with the aim of generating more support for Taiwan and showcasing the country’s experience in health care through bilateral meetings and promotional events.

As Beijing continues to ramp up pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) to block Taiwan’s participation, the island nation has been excluded from observing the WHA since 2017.

Nevertheless, support for Taiwan has gathered momentum over the past two days as representatives from allies and like-minded countries spoke out in favor of the country’s inclusion at the WHA in the plenary sessions.