Taiwan was ahead of everyone, deploying preventive measures as early as December in the face of rumours of “atypical pneumonia” in China. The island, which has only had seven deaths from Covid-19, wants to share its success story with the World Health Organisation (WHO), but political obstacles prevent it from doing so.

Next Monday begins one of the most important annual assemblies for the WHO in its 72-year history, focused this year almost entirely on the fight against the worst pandemic in the last century, and Taiwan wants to be part of it as an observer.

The island, which cannot be a member of the WHO because it does not have a seat in the United Nations (China “snatched” it from it in 1971), has claimed it since 1997, and in fact achieved it between 2009 and 2016, but it is difficult for it to do so on this occasion, just when its testimony may be more valuable than ever. The WHO argues that in order for NGO’s, companies or territories outside the UN system such as Taiwan to be able to be observers at the assembly they have to have the consensus of its 194 member countries, something almost impossible given the opposition of one of the most influential, China.

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