The assembly hall of the Palace of Nations in Geneva where WHA is held.

The assembly hall of the Palace of Nations in Geneva where WHA is held. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The World Health Organization (WHO) has turned its back on Taiwan once again, excluding the island from its upcoming annual assembly due to political pressure from China.

This is the third consecutive year that Taiwan has not been invited to the World Health Assembly (WHA), making it a loophole in the global public health front.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs vowed to continue pushing for an invitation under observer status even though WHA online registration for attendance closed on May 6.

A U.S. Department of State official who commented on condition of anonymity told Central News Agency the U.S. supports Taiwan’s participation in international communities that do not require the status of a sovereign state.

The official said Taiwan has contributed tremendously to combating Islamic State, providing humanitarian aid in Venezuela, and fighting the Ebola epidemic. Excluding Taiwan from the network of global public health, security, and law enforcement will create dangerous loopholes for malicious transnational crime organizations to exploit.

According to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesperson Geng Shuang (耿爽), China has decided to veto Taiwan’s WHA participation due to the “one-China policy.”