From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : World Health Assembly , WHO
Mains level : China-Taiwan tussle
Following its successful containment of coronavirus outbreak, Taiwan has made a new push for inclusion in the World Health Assembly (WHA).
Locate the seas and straits around Taiwan using your Atlas.
What is World Health Assembly (WHA)?
- The WHA, composed of representatives from all 194 member states, serves as the WHO’s supreme decision-making body.
- The WHA convenes annually and is responsible for selecting the Director-General, setting goals and priorities, and approving the WHO’s budget and activities.
- The first meeting of the WHA the WHO’s agency’s governing body, took place on 24 July 1948.
- Its work began in earnest in 1951 following a significant infusion of financial and technical resources.
Why Taiwan must be included in WHA?
- Taiwan has been praised over its handling of the pandemic, despite being just a short flight from China where the virus was first detected late last year.
- Taiwan since then has been in a state of constant readiness to the threat of emerging infectious disease.
- Hence, its exclusion from the upcoming World Health Assembly would harm the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Issues with Taiwan’s inclusion
- Taiwan is claimed as part of Chinese territory by Beijing, which has excluded it from the United Nations and its subsidiary organisations.
- China’s growing influence in the U.N. has made officials wary of crossing it, even while the U.S. has withdrawn from or suspended funding for some of its bodies, including WHO.
- Beijing’s Communist leadership has increasingly shut Taiwan out of gatherings such as the World Health Assembly as part of a diplomatic and military drive to force Taiwan’s independence-leaning tendencies.