New Zealand PM Supports Taiwan’s Inclusion in WHO

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Adern reiterated her belief that Taiwan should be a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) during a speech to New Zealand’s local Chinese business community.

While on the subject of New Zealand’s relationship with Beijing, she brought up differences in opinion between her country and China, including her belief that Taiwan should be a WHO member. While saying New Zealand’s relationship with China is in “good shape,” she took time to point out some issues, including how important to her citizens it would be if Taiwan were a WHO member. 

Taiwan’s relationship with the WHO has been turbulent of late, including the organization failing to refer to Taiwan by its proper name, or director Dr. Tedros Adhanom accusing Taiwanese netizens of racism. However, it is not the first time an international politician of high standing has championed Taiwan’s WHO inclusion. Former Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen back in March said that Taiwan “has something to offer the global health community” and that the world “needs Taiwan in the room, helping to shape the global policy with its highly educated, industrialized and high-tech expertise.” (Read more: Former Danish PM says world can learn from Taiwan)

Recently, New Zealand economist Eric Crampton proposed New Zealand should open its borders to Taiwanese travelers, reported the Taiwan Times. “Taiwan has no community transmission and has pandemic control systems at least as strong as New Zealand’s,” he put forward. 

New Zealand famously has displayed one of the world’s best responses to the coronavirus pandemic, notably at one point having zero confirmed cases in the country. At the time of writing, there are only two active cases in New Zealand and they have only reported 22 deaths.  

(cover photo: Ministry of Justice of New Zealand)