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FM ‘neither pessimistic nor optimistic’ on WHA invite


The foreign minister, David Lee, said Friday that he is neither pessimistic nor optimistic on Taiwan’s chances of securing observer status at this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA).


The WHA is the annual policy-setting meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s WHA will be held in Geneva from May 22 to 31.


Lee said Friday in the Legislature that the government is in contact with the WHO secretariat on the issue and is working toward securing an invite to attend. He pointed out that the WHA is still three months away. He also said philosophically that diplomats should not be too optimistic or too pessimistic about anything.


In recent years, Taiwan has attended the WHA as an observer. However, the participation was seen as a demonstration of goodwill from China. Such goodwill has since been cut off with Beijing’s boycott of the Tsai Ing-wen administration. Last year’s invite came late and after months of speculation that it might be withheld. Later in the year, Taiwan was not invited to last year’s meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization and Interpol.