Taiwan officials express discontent with WHO

Two Taiwanese cabinet ministers have expressed strong discontent with the World Health Organization for not inviting Taiwan to its annual assembly.

Taiwanese authorities announced that as of Monday morning, they had not received an invitation to the World Health Assembly set to open later in the day.

Participants in the event are expected to discuss stepping up international cooperation to fight the coronavirus, among other issues.

Taiwan took part in the assembly from 2009 to 2016 as an observer. But due to opposition from China, it has not been invited to the event since 2017.

Health minister Chen Shih-chung and Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu issued a joint statement.

Chen stressed that the recent spread of the coronavirus in Taiwan shows global antivirus measures should be thorough and Taiwan should not be left out.

Wu criticized China, saying it is falsely claiming that appropriate arrangements have been made for Taiwan's WHO participation. He urged the world body to maintain a professional and neutral stance, and to reject China's political interference.