Taiwan Challenges WHO Leader's Accusations, Renews Medical Aid Commitment

Taiwan Challenges WHO Leader's Accusations, Renews Medical Aid Commitment
Photo Credit: AP / 達志影像

What you need to know

Taiwan's MOFA has responded to accusations of racism from WHO head Dr. Tedro by condemning the groundless attacks and announcing new medical aid efforts.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the leader of the World Health Organization, denigrated Taiwan’s aspirations to join the WHO by accusing the country of complicity in racist attacks. But Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issued a graceful response, and soon after announced another round of medical aid to countries in need.

When Tedros was answering a question about criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump during a press conference on Wednesday, Tedros said he has been receiving death threats and racist insults.

“I’m proud of being black, proud of being Negro,” Tedros told the press. “I don’t give a damn.”

The WHO director then turned the media’s attention to Taiwan and accused the country of being the originator of these attacks.

“Three months ago, this attack came from Taiwan.” he said. “And Taiwan, the Foreign Ministry also, they know the campaign. They didn’t disassociate themselves.”

The WHO rarely mentions Taiwan by its rightful name. While Taiwan’s international contributions to fighting Covid-19 have gone unremarked upon by the WHO, Tedros has expressed no reservations in naming Taiwan as a perpetrator. 

After Tedros’s allegations, MOFA issued a press statement, denying the government’s involvement in any racist campaign and condemned Tedros for smearing Taiwan with falsehoods. 

“We are a mature and highly-accomplished advanced democratic country. We have absolutely never encouraged our citizens to attack the WHO director-general personally, and it’s impossible that we have expressed any racist comments,” the MOFA wrote in its statement.

MOFA then said Taiwan can relate to the discrimination and injustice Tedros feels. “The 23 million people of Taiwan have also faced grave discrimination by the global health politics,” MOFA wrote. 

Taiwan has donated 10 million surgical masks to the United States, Europe, and its allied countries last week. The Ministry announced a second wave of medical aid, pledging an additional 6 million face masks to countries that are seriously affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including some in Southeast Asia and Latin America.


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TNL Editor: Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

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