Taiwan:Unfairly Blocked From WHO Talks

GENEVA (AP) -- Taiwan's health minister says China has "unfairly blocked" the island's government from taking part in the annual meeting of the World Health Organization's governing body.

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung spoke Monday to reporters in Geneva moments before the start of the 10-day World Health Assembly, insisting that Taiwan had contributions to offer and accusing Beijing of playing politics with health.

Taiwan isn't a U.N. member state but was granted assembly "observer status" between 2009 and 2016 under an arrangement on the "One China" principle favored by Beijing. But China has accused the year-old government of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen of reneging on that principle.

As the assembly began, China and Cuba spoke in favor of Taiwan's exclusion, while St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Palau defended Taiwan's bid.

(KA)