US backs Taiwan's participation in WHO during teleconference

Health czars of Taiwan and US hold 30-minute teleconference

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Azar (left), Chen (right). (Twitter, @SecAzar photos)

Azar (left), Chen (right). (Twitter, @SecAzar photos)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — During a teleconference between the top government healthcare leaders of the U.S. and Taiwan held on Monday evening (April 28), the U.S. offered its support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) and its subordinate organization, the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a 30-minute teleconference held between Taiwanese Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Alex Azar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Azar praised Taiwan's achievements in fighting the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and thanked Taiwan for donating masks, according to a press release by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW). He then pledged that the U.S. will strive to expand Taiwan's participation in the WHA and meetings and events of the WHO.

The two sides held an in-depth exchange on epidemic prevention strategies and shared their views on global health safety and other important health issues, particularly Taiwan's full participation in the WHO. Chen expressed his sincere thanks for American cooperation in fighting the pandemic and firmly supporting Taiwan's participation in the global health body.

Chen expressed his hope that the U.S. would continue to support Taiwan's participation in this year's WHA as an observer and its full participation in relevant WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities. Azar reaffirmed the U.S.'s continued and concrete support for expanding Taiwan’s participation in the WHO and global health arena, which he said would allow Taiwan to share its health expertise with the world and make greater contributions.

Before concluding the meeting, both sides agreed to enhance their bilateral exchange and to expand health cooperation, especially in the research and development of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines, as well as medical supplies and equipment. Both sides closed by expressing an interest in having additional meetings in the future.