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Taiwan can 'blame itself' for WHO talks exclusion

Taipei 101 skyscraper. [Photo/IC]

Taiwan has itself to blame for its exclusion from the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva this month, said Song Shuli, spokeswoman of the National Health Commission on the Chinese mainland.

Since the Democratic Progressive Party came to power on the island in May 2016, it has adhered to the separatist position of "Taiwan independence" and refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus, which embodies the one-China principle, Song said.

"It has undermined the political foundation for cross-Straits consultation and prevented Taiwan from continuing to participate in the annual assembly," she added.

The World Health Organization declined to issue an invitation letter to Taiwan for this year's assembly.

From 2009 to 2016, the island participated in the World Health Assembly as an observer under the name of "Chinese Taipei", she said.

"It was a special arrangement made through cross-Straits consultations on the basis of the one-China princmake your own wristbandiple," she added.

"The mainland has always att[MG_SEO]ached great importance to the health and well-being of Taiwan compatriots. On the premise of the one-China principle, the mainland has adopted a number of measures to promote cross-Straits exchanges in the field of health," Song said.

Taiwan residents can take part in mainland professional qualification examinations for medical personnel, including doctors and nurses. They can also apply to practice on the mainland, she said.

Song added that the mainland made proper arrangements for Taiwan to participate in global health affairs on the basis of the one-China principle.

After consultations between the mainland and the WHO, Taiwan was allowed to obtain information under International Health Regulations, according to the National Health Commission.

This allows Taiwan to promptly obtain information on global public health emergencies issued by the WHO and inform the WHO of public health emergencies on the island in a timely manner, according to the commission.

Health experts from Taiwan can participate in technical activities under an appropriate name as required, and WHO experts can also provide on-site technical guidance and assistance to the island when required, the commission said.

"Under the agreement on medical and health cooperation between the two sides, health authorities from the two sides can inform each other of possible epidemics," Song said.

At the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly, which began on Monday in Geneva, the mainland will host a side meeting and participate in almost all WHA discussions to share its experience and lessons in delivering primary healthcare.|