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Taiwan talking to China about WHA attendance: Taiwan President

Taiwan talking to China about WHA attendance: Taiwan President

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan was holding talks with China about the island’s attendance at the World Health Assembly in Geneva next May, President Ma Ying-jeou said in an interview published Tuesday.
“We are really in the process of discussing this topic with the other side of the Taiwan Straits, and they are willing to discuss this topic with us,” Ma told the web site Yahoo! Kimo.
Taiwan has been trying for many years to win the right to attend the annual World Health Organization meeting, but China objects because it claims sovereignty over the island. Other nations have come round to the view that the WHA should allow Taiwan to attend as an observer, even if they do not recognize its status as an independent sovereign nation.
Ma admitted in the interview that it was not certain that Taiwan would succeed in gaining attendance next May, because a long distance still had to be covered.
He also named sovereignty as the most difficult problem in trying to participate in the United Nations, another major annual foreign policy effort for Taiwan. Last September, Taiwan for the first time only tried to join the world body’s affiliates, but the effort proved unsuccessful. Previous governments wanted to achieve participation in the UN itself through annual bids supported by Taiwan’s limited number of official diplomatic allies.
The problem was so difficult that Ma said the two sides should try to improve the problem now, rather than try and solve it.
The president rejected remarks that improving relations with China was creating concern in Washington. He dismissed fears that the administration of next U.S. President Barack Obama would change its policies toward Taiwan, pointing out that the new American leader would be happy to see better relations between Taiwan and China because they were likely to reduce tension in the Asia Pacific.


Updated : 2021-03-08 00:50 GMT+08:00