Coronavirus

Caving to Chinese Pressure, WHO Will Not Invite Taiwan to Global Health Meeting

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus / Getty Images

The World Health Organization has denied an appeal for Taiwan to join an upcoming meeting on the global health situation amid protests from China, which has sought to exclude the nation from pressing deliberations.

Steven Solomon, the WHO's top legal official, was quoted as saying on Monday that "divergent views" among United Nations member states had stopped the organization from extending an invitation to Taiwan to attend its annual confab. These views have largely emanated from China, which has long rebuffed international calls for Taiwan to have a seat at the World Health Assembly, the WHO's decision-making body. Taiwan has attended past meetings as an observer.

"To put it crisply, director-generals only extend invitations when it's clear that member states support doing so, that director-generals have a mandate, a basis to do so," Solomon said.

The United States and its allies have pushed for Taiwan's inclusion amid mounting concerns that the WHO is being controlled by China. The communist regime's sway at the organization has been on full display since the coronavirus pandemic broke out and the WHO helped Beijing obfuscate critical information about the virus.

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have accused the WHO of "taking its cues from China," and there have been mounting calls for WHO's director-general to step down for parroting Chinese government talking points.