Taipei--Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (???) returned to Taiwan Saturday from Geneva, where he held talks with representatives of countries participating in the World Health Assembly (WHA) despite being barred from the meeting due to China's obstruction.
Chen told reporters that he made many friends in Geneva and had fruitful discussions with the participating officials.
He expressed disappointment, however, at not being able to attend the WHA meeting and admitted that Taiwan was encountering tremendous difficulty in the face of China's political suppression.
During his visit to Geneva, Chen said, he and his delegation held 51 bilateral talks with 28 countries and 23 organizations on the sidelines of the WHA, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is in session May 22-31.
Meanwhile, 21 countries, including the United States, Germany, Japan and Australia, spoke up for Taiwan at this year's WHA, according to Chen.
Taiwan first attended the WHA as an observer in 2009, a year after former President Ma Ying-jeou (???) came to power and began pursuing a more conciliatory policy toward Beijing.
Taiwan had taken part in every WHA meeting since then, until this year.
Its exclusion is widely seen as the latest move by China to clamp down on Taiwan's participation in international events, a strategy that has become more aggressive since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) of the Democratic Progressive Party, who is less conciliatory toward China, came to power in May 2016.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel