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FIRST ON FOX: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley says that the U.S. should not attend the upcoming World Health Organization (WHO) meeting as long as Taiwan remains excluded from the event due to pressure from China.
The World Health Assembly, which serves as the decision-making body of the WHO, is set to take place on May 22. but Taiwan is typically excluded from a number of U.N.-related events due to Beijing not recognizing it as a separate country.
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Haley, in a statement to Fox News Digital, said that given the Chinese origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. should skip the event unless there is Chinese accountability, and the involvement of Taiwan.
“It’s been over two years since China gave the world COVID and lied about it with the help of the World Health Organization,” she said. “America shouldn’t show up to a WHO meeting without answers and accountability.”
“And we shouldn’t participate without Taiwan who sounded the alarm on Beijing’s actions,” she said.
Taiwan has said it has not received an invite to the assembly since 2016, when pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen took office. Taiwan had been annually invited as an observer since 2009.
But its exclusion has drawn greater attention in recent years as it was Taiwan that sounded the alarm on the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent Chinese coverup. The pandemic originated in Wuhan, China, but there is disagreement on whether it emerged from a wet market or escaped from a laboratory.
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The Biden administration has not indicated it is considering boycotting the event, but it has called for Taiwanese involvement in some form.
“We strongly advocate for the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer and lend its expertise to the solution-seeking discussions at the 75th WHA this May,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement this week.
“There is no reasonable justification to exclude its participation, which will benefit the world,” he said. “As we continue to fight COVID-19 and other emerging health threats, Taiwan’s isolation from the preeminent global health forum is unwarranted and undermines inclusive global public health cooperation.”
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WHO officials have previously said that the matter is out of its hands and is instead a matter for the 194 member governments of WHO.
“It’s their decision and indeed a proposal has already been made, as it has been in recent years, for this matter to be considered by the health assembly itself and that is a question which is properly for the member states,” WHO’s legal counsel said in 2020.