Taiwan again excluded from WHO annual assembly

Taiwan has not been allowed to participate in the World Health Organization's annual assembly as an observer, due to opposition from China and other countries.

Taiwan was excluded from the assembly in Geneva for the seventh year in a row, after officials from member nations decided on Monday not to consider whether Taiwan should be allowed into the meeting. Taiwan is not a WHO member, but it attended the annual gathering as an observer for eight years through 2016.

This year's assembly, which runs from May 21 to 30, is expected to feature discussions on what steps countries can take to prepare for a future pandemic.

Western countries have shown support for Taiwan's participation, citing its achievements in fighting the coronavirus.

The United States said Taiwan's public health expertise and advanced technology would bring considerable value to the organization.

During a meeting on Monday, a representative from the Chinese government said Taiwan is part of Chinese territory and that the matter should be considered based on the "One China" principle.

Taiwan's foreign ministry, meanwhile, said in a statement that it's a matter of public health and politics should not be prioritized.