Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Taiwan and the World Health Assembly (WHA)

Delivered in Plenary - 4th May 2009

Mr President,

The Republic of China, better known to us as Taiwan, has finally achieved its just objective of being able to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has consistently blocked this move since 1971, when it replaced Taiwan in the United Nations.

As a doctor, I firmly believe that public health issues should never play a part in international relations, and the European Parliament, to its credit, has consistently rejected Beijing’s petty policy of blocking Taiwan’s attempts to be present at WHA meetings.

I congratulate Taiwanese President Ma on his new successful policy of rapprochement between Beijing and Taipei, and at last the PRC has seen the folly of its bullying ways towards its neighbour.

I too look forward to better relations between the two governments, which is a win-win situation for all parties concerned and in particular now for the good health of the hard-working Taiwanese people.