Danish parliament considers resolution to support Taiwan’s WHA bid

Stockholm, Denmark’s parliament is considering a resolution to support Taiwan’s bid to return to the World Health Organization (WHO) despite opposition from China, according to Danish media and Taiwan’s representative office.

In a Facebook post, Taiwan’s office in Denmark said six of the 10 political parties represented in the Danish parliament are supporting a resolution to ask the WHO to invite Taiwan to the World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decision-making body, as an observer.

The resolution, jointly initiated by the Danish Blue-bloc coalition and Danish Social Liberal Party, has passed a first reading and is currently under review by the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to an article published by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on Jan. 13, the resolution has been supported by a majority of the country’s opposition parliamentarians following Taiwan’s successful containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Aastrup Jensen, the foreign affairs spokesperson for the Danish Social Liberal Party, told the newspaper that Taiwan has attained success in fighting the pandemic, and he doesn’t see any reason why Taiwan shouldn’t participate in the WHO, as it has in the past.

The Danish government has not offered its full backing for the measure because of its “one-China policy” the report said, apparently concerned about going against China’s wishes on the issue.

It quoted Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod as saying that his government supports observer status for Taiwan in the WHA but will continue to maintain a “one-China policy,” which sees Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Meanwhile, Michael Danielsen, chairman of Taiwan Corner, a nongovernmental organization in Denmark, told CNA that the discussion of a resolution in the Danish parliament may not seem like a major breakthrough for Taiwan-Denmark relations.

But he said media reports concerning the issue have been quite positive toward Taiwan and thus could be beneficial for Taiwan’s WHA bid internationally.

Danielsen also urged Danish government officials to consider more practical bilateral exchanges with Taiwan involving efforts to combat COVID-19 or on energy policy to boost two-way exchanges.

Since being expelled from the WHO in 1972 after the PRC took its seat, Taiwan, officially named the Republic of China, has not been able to participate in the WHA, except for 2009-2016, when it attended as an observer at a time when cross-Taiwan Strait relations were warmer under the then-Kuomintang government.

Since 2017, however, China has pressured the WHO not to invite Taiwan, in line with Beijing’s hardline stance on cross-strait relations since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the independence- leaning Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016.

 

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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