TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) launched a Twitter campaign on Friday (May 1) calling on Taiwan to take part in this year's World Health Assembly (WHA) which, due to COVID-19, will take the form of a three-hour video conference on May 18.
In consecutive tweets, the IO recognized Taiwan's expertise in managing the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) and said its experience should be shared with the rest of the world. The office also called on people not to succumb to China's pressure and intimidation and instead include Taiwan in the WHA.
Taiwan had been participating in WHA as an observer before 2017. The island nation's reputation has been boosted by the way it has dealt with the pandemic, which has brought to the fore Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Organization (WHO) once again.
The IO believes the United Nations was founded to serve as a venue for all voices to be heard. As such, it should provide a forum that welcomes diversified views and promotes freedom, meaning barring Taiwan's participation is a direct violation of these principles.
On April 29, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said on Fox News that China is the complete opposite of Taiwan: "China continues to make promises. They say they’re transparent, they say they want to be open, they say they want to join the community of nations, and then we watched them in this crisis behave in ways that are just the opposite of that."
He believes China owes the world an explanation as to how the coronavirus broke out from Wuhan and swept across the world, causing global economic devastation.
.@SecPompeo: China continues to make promises. They say they’re transparent, they say they want to be open, they say they want to join the community of nations, and then we watched them in this crisis behave in ways that are just the opposite of that. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/fXAJkCSms8
— Department of State (@StateDept) May 1, 2020