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.