New Zealand backs Taiwan’s role in WHO amid success with outbreak

Robertson spoke at a daily media briefing about the country’s fight against the coronavirus

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), third from right, Michael Moller, Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, third from left, and staff members, prepare for the opening of the World Health Assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 21, 2018. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson on Thursday said Taiwan has “something to offer” in terms of early detection and prevention efforts, weighing in on the debate around whether it should be allowed to join the World Health Organization (WHO)

Robertson spoke at a daily media briefing about the country’s fight against the coronavirus during which he was asked whether New Zealand would support Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO as an observer

Taiwan has adopted several successful methods of dealing with the virus and has epidemiologists and health experts who provide advice that benefits many countries, said Robertson.

Taiwan attended the World Health Assembly from 2009 to 2016, when relations between Taipei and Beijing were warm, but China blocked further participation because it considers Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen a separatist.

The United States has expressed support to Taiwan’s participation in the meeting as an observer, increasing pressure on China over its stance on the country’s independence from Beijing.

Robertson said New Zealand continued to value the role of the WHO and its role in international health policy. Nothing has changed, he added: ‘We’re in a relationship with a lot of depth and it’s time we relied on each other and supported each other.

Read More from The China Post