There is no reason for Taiwan to be excluded from the World Health Assembly, and 23 millions people in Taiwan should enjoy the same health rights as people everywhere else in the world.
The 71st WHA will meet in Switzerland from May 21 to May 26, and Taiwan, an important partner in the global health network, seeks participation. For many years, Taiwan has participated in the technical meetings, mechanisms and activities of the WHA and the World Health Organization. Taiwan has contributed greatly to international health and would like to do more, sharing significant medical breakthroughs it has made.
However, in 2017 Taiwan was not invited to attend the 70th WHA as an observer. This exclusion then was a mistake and to continue this exclusion this year would be neither correct nor acceptable.
Sidelining Taiwan harms the whole global health network. Only when every member of the international community is included in the collective fight against disease can we minimize the negative effects of the next potential pandemic infection.
We urge the Trump administration to step up its support for Taipei to participate in the upcoming WHA.
Advisory commissioner, Overseas Community Affairs Council of Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United States Potomac Falls, Va.