An American senator has slammed China’s government for denying Taiwan an invitation to this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA).
Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from the state of Arkansas, called Beijing “petty and reckless” for blocking Taiwan’s attendance at the WHA. The annual meeting of the World Health Organization’s convening body will open in Geneva on May 22. Taiwan has attended the past eight meetings as an observer. This year, however, no invitation has been received. This is on account of Beijing’s boycott of the Tsai Ing-wen administration.
The senator’s full statement, released on Wednesday local time, said, "This shameful episode is petty and reckless, and shows that Beijing will pursue its campaign to isolate Taiwan even at the expense of public health worldwide. Taiwan is fully prepared to play a constructive role on the international stage, which it has proven in numerous other forums, including in past World Health Assemblies. This is yet another reason why we should enhance the US-Taiwan relationship and encourage the world to welcome Taiwan's contributions to international peace and stability."
Taiwan plans to send a delegation to Geneva regardless of invitation to protest the country’s exclusion from the WHA.