GENEVA – The World Health Organization says it does not plan to invite a delegation from Taiwan to attend its upcoming annual assembly, for the first time since 2009.
However, Dr. Tim Armstrong, who heads the department of governing bodies at the U.N. agency, said "negotiations are still going on" to possibly allow Taiwan to attend as an observer at the World Health Assembly starting May 22.
China has used its clout as one of five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council to exclude Taiwan from the U.N.
Armstrong said that this year, no "cross-strait understanding" exists between Taiwan and China like the ones that allowed Taiwan to send delegates since 2009.
He insisted Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to WHO's Geneva headquarters in January "had nothing to do with it."