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Taiwan Not Eligible for WHO Member or Observer: FM
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Taiwan is not eligible to become a member or observer of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.


"The WHO is a special institution of the UN, which can be joined only by sovereign states," the ministry's spokesman Liu Jianchao said.


China is a WHO member state, and Taiwan is part of China. Taiwan is not eligible to become a WHO member or observer, he added.


The World Health Assembly has for nine consecutive times rejected the proposals schemed by a small number of countries to make Taiwan attend the assembly as an observer, Liu said.


"It indicates that the international community has a definite and extensive consensus on this issue," he said.


China's central government has valued and safeguarded the health welfare of the Taiwan people and made efforts to promote health exchanges across the Taiwan Straits, Liu noted.


In 2005, China's Ministry of Health and the WHO Secretariat signed a memorandum of understanding on Taiwan health and medical experts' participation in WHO technical activities.


Over the past year, Taiwan health and medical experts have for several times attended WHO technical activities, Liu said.


There are channels for Taiwan to acquire health technology information, and there are no "loopholes" in international disease prevention and control, he added.


While putting forward Taiwan-related proposals at the world health assemblies, the Taiwan authorities actually conducted political moves with the excuse of health issues in an effort to serve the "Taiwan independence" secessionist activities, Liu said.


"Such a political attempt will not succeed," he stressed.


A Taiwan-related proposal was put forward at the ongoing World Health Assembly in Geneva.


(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2006)

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