Health minister urges China to resume exchanges

The health minister, Chen Shih-chung, has called on China to resume exchanges with Taiwan on epidemic prevention and treatment.

Taiwan has been blocked from attending this year's ongoing World Health Assembly in Geneva due to Beijing's objections. Chen has nonetheless led a delegation to Geneva and has held talks with representatives from 30 nations.

Chen said Thursday, local time, that an annual meeting between Taiwan and China on public health was canceled last year. This further limited Taiwan's opportunities to get the most timely updates on epidemic prevention. He called on China to shelve political differences on health and safety-related issues and to attend the meeting this year, which is to be hosted by Taiwan.

In 2012, Taiwan and China signed the Cross-Strait Cooperation Agreement on Medicine and Public Health Affairs and the Cross-Strait Food Safety Agreement. Under the agreements, the two sides have held annual meetings to exchange information on epidemic prevention and food safety. The meeting was canceled for the first time in 2016, shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen took office.

Source: Radio Taiwan International