why sidelining Taiwan harms everyone, by François Chih-chung Wu – L’Express

why sidelining Taiwan harms everyone by Francois Chih chung Wu –

Taiwan will once again be deprived of participation in the World Health Assembly this year, which will be held from May 27 to June 1, 2024 in Geneva. Why is that ? Because China has decided so!

However, Taiwan is not China. It is a country of 23.5 million inhabitants, modern, democratic, with an exemplary healthcare system and health insurance which covers almost its entire population. Should we remember that Taiwan was the first country to alert the world to the emergence of a new virus in China, in December 2019, a virus which later turned out to be the origin of the epidemic of Covid-19 with the consequences that we know? If Taiwan had been listened to, the world would likely have been much less affected.

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Taiwan receives a lot of support for its participation in international organizations. This is all the more important with regard to the World Health Organization (WHO), because viruses and diseases ignore borders… and political differences!

Humanity is not safe from a new epidemic

Sidelining Taiwan makes no sense and is contrary to the WHO’s principle of universality. It should also be noted that Taiwan hosts many French and European residents who cannot benefit from WHO protection. Governments of relevant countries should support Taiwan’s participation in the WHO so that their nationals abroad can be protected the same way in Taiwan as in their home countries.

We must continue to support Taiwan’s participation in the WHO and, more generally, in international organizations. Humanity is not safe from a new epidemic and, as the Taiwanese Minister of Health points out: “Taiwan is essential to prepare for future pandemics.” Continuing to exclude Taiwan from the WHO harms everyone. The WHO must put an end to this error and accept Taiwan into its fold with observer status.