Taiwan condemns WHO for ‘Taipei and environs’ label

Taiwan has no say at WHO despite support from allies and spread of novel coronavirus worldwide

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WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Facebook photo)

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In the latest situation report of the Wuhan coronavirus on Wednesday (Feb. 5), the World Health Organization (WHO) continued to include Taiwan as a region of China, referring to the country as "Taipei and environs."

According to Liberty Times, the report displayed Taiwan as a province of China, with an annotation on the bottom of the graph that read, "China includes Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei and environs." This is not the first time WHO has attempted to create misunderstandings about Taiwan's international status, as it has previously referred to the country as, "Taipei," "Taipei Municipality," and "Taiwan, China."

Since the breakout of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in December, WHO has refused to share timely information on the epidemic with Taiwan. Despite protests from the Taiwanese government, the U.N. health agency has affirmed its stance against Taiwan's inclusion in all of its meetings.

Some of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, as well as international organizations such as the European Union (EU), have voiced their support for Taiwan's participation in WHO. During a session on Tuesday (Feb. 4), Guatemalan envoy Calderón Pinzón ignored China's warnings and said Taiwan has made several contributions to 2019-nCoV research, while limiting the country's information access exposes all 23 million Taiwanese to danger.

On Thursday morning (Feb. 6), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) called WHO's actions "absurd" and bashed the international organization for intentionally mislabeling Taiwan as part of China. She emphasized that the official name of the country is "Taiwan" and that MOFA has once again expressed its discontent to the WHO, reported Yahoo News.


Taiwan listed as "Taipei and environs" by WHO. (WHO screenshot)