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May 23, 2017

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WHO bars Taiwanese media from covering annual meeting

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The United Nations' exclusion of Taiwan moved toward media coverage Monday, as members of the Taiwanese press corp were barred from covering this year's World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

According to the Central News Agency, the World Health Organization -- the WHA's parent body -- refused the agency press passes to cover this year's event.

The rejection has drawn the ire of Taiwan's Foreign Ministry.

Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Chih-chung accused the WHO of "violating its own charter with the whole world watching."

Wu made the remarks at a Legislative Yuan committee meeting, saying that the WHO's charter specific states that parties should not be discriminated based on their race, religion, political beliefs or economic and social status.

"We and China have different political beliefs. The WHO should consider its own credibility by making this decision [to exclude Taiwan]," he added.

United Nations spokesperson Alessandra Vellucci stated last week that only media from countries recognized by the United Nations could receive press passes for U.N. events.

Taiwan has already been denied an invitation to send a delegation to the WHA due to Chinese interference.

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