The Danish parliament is considering a resolution to support Taiwan’s bid to return to the WHO, despite opposition from China, Danish media and Taiwan’s representative office said.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Taiwan’s representative office in Denmark said that 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 decisionmaking body, as an observer.
The resolution, jointly initiated by the Danish blue-bloc coalition and the Danish Social Liberal Party, has passed a first reading and is being reviewed by the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
On Wednesday last week, the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten reported that the resolution has the support of a majority of the country’s opposition parliamentarians following Taiwan’s successful containment of COVID-19.
Michael Aastrup Jensen, the Danish Social Liberal Party’s foreign affairs spokesman, told the newspaper that Taiwan had attained success in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and he does not see any reason why it should not 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.
The newspaper quoted Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod as saying that his government supports observer status for Taiwan in the WHA, but the government would continue to maintain its “one China” policy, which sees Taiwan as a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Meanwhile, Michael Danielsen, chairman of Taiwan Corner, a non-governmental organization in Denmark, said the discussion of a resolution in the Danish parliament might not seem like a major breakthrough in Taiwan-Denmark relations, but media reports on the matter have been quite positive toward Taiwan.
This could benefit Taiwan’s WHA bid internationally, he added.
Danielsen said that Danish officials should 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, the Republic of China has not been able to participate in the WHA, except from 2009 to 2016, when it attended as an observer at a time when cross-strait relations were warmer under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government.
Since 2017, China has pressured the WHO not to invite Taiwan, in line with Beijing’s stance on cross-strait relations since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016.
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