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Secret MoU between China and WHO in 2005 hinders Taiwan’s WHA participation: Taiwan Foreign Minister

Taipei: Foreign Minister Joseph Wu today cited a secret memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between China and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2005 as directly impacting the country’s participation at the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) and in related WHO events.

Given the existence of the secret memorandum, which Taiwan first learned about in 2007, the country needs greater international support in its push to attend the WHA and participate in WHO-related events in order to increase pressure on the WHO secretariat and Beijing, Wu told lawmakers during a legislative session in Taipei.

“In order to overcome the hurdle represented by the 2005 MOU, we need stronger support from the international community and so far this year, the atmosphere around the globe has been increasingly in favour of Taiwan,” Wu said in the Focus Taiwan.

Despite growing support for Taiwan’s WHA bid, Wu further admitted in the Focus Taiwan that it will be “extremely difficult” for Taiwan to secure an invitation to the annual meeting of the decision making body of the WHO to be held later this month.

“But we will not stop our efforts just because it is difficult to achieve,” the minister stressed.

Wu was referring to an MOU signed by China and the WHO Secretariat in July 2005.

Though the content of the MOU was never made public, according to Taiwan’s government, which received details on the document in 2007, it stipulates that the country has to apply for WHO technical assistance through China and that all exchanges between Taiwan and the WHO have to be approved by Beijing.

Neither China nor the WHO Secretariat consulted Taiwan over the content of the memorandum before it was signed, in which Taiwan is treated as part of China, referred to as “Taiwan, China.”

Taiwan’s government has repeatedly protested to the WHA over the MOU as denigrating its national status but to no avail.

From 2009-2016, Taiwan participated in the WHA as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei” amid better relations with China during the then-Kuomintang administration.

Since 2017 China has persuaded the WHO not to invite Taiwan.

Here is a copy of the MoU, GoaChronicle team sourced:


Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief

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