New Zealand prime minister reiterates importance of including Taiwan in WHO

Jacinda Ardern speaks out against Hong Kong security law, Uyghur persecution, Beijing’s pressure on Taiwan

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern supports Taiwan's entry into WHO. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern supports Taiwan's entry into WHO.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has once again spoken out against Beijing's pressure to exclude Taiwan from participating in the World Health Organization (WHO) and said it is important to all her citizens.

During her speech to the local Chinese business community last week, Ardern started off by describing New Zealand's relationship with Beijing as "in good shape," adding that the bilateral trade ties have been beneficial for both sides. However, she also laid out differences of opinion between the two countries regarding Taiwan's WHO inclusion, Beijing's treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, and the implementation of the Hong Kong national security law.

Ardern criticized the Chinese government for failing to involve Hong Kong citizens in constituting the new security law that has directly impacted thousands of New Zealanders residing in the special administrative region. She added that the security law has caused real concerns for international investors who have chosen Hong Kong for its independent judiciary and its high degree of autonomy, reported ETtoday.

Though the New Zealand leader did not elaborate further on her support for Taiwan's WHO entry, it was not the first time she or officials from her government have clashed with China over Taiwan's participation in global organizations. In May, New Zealand's foreign minister Winston Peters, along with a few senior ministers, also singled out China for bullying Taiwan and said the nation could contribute significantly to the world by sharing its pandemic experience, reported New Talk.