Taiwan is willing and ready to work with the international community to fight the viral outbreak

The spread of Coronavirus in central China has sparked alarm throughout the world and sent countries scrambling to reassess international flights as part of precautionary measures to stop the epidemic spreading.

Taiwan, as a significant regional air hub, has eight confirmed cases of the virus as of 31 January. However, in the past seven decades, China has systematically pushed Taiwan out of the United Nations and most international and intergovernmental organizations, including World Health Organization (WHO), International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO). Excluding Taiwan from WHO and the ICAO means it can’t take part in both organizations’ mechanisms of information sharing and logistical planning as the coronavirus spreads.

The outbreak of the fast-moving virus once again highlights the inappropriateness and unfairness that Taiwan’s exclusion from these two organizations. It also reveals the importance and urgency that the international community have to address health loophole and air safety gap as a result of Taiwan’s absence in wars on epidemics and safeguarding a seamless sky. This is especially true after the WHO declared an international emergency over the "unprecedented outbreak" in China.

As an old saying goes, “The virtuous are never alone; they are sure to enjoy the company of others.” We thank all the like-minded countries such as the United States, Japan, Canada and the European Union (EU) for taking a firm stance in publicly supporting Taiwan’s participation in WHO.
Such public expressions of support highlight Taiwan’s indispensable efforts in matters of global public health, and demonstrate other nations’ ardent hope that Taiwan deserves an equal and dignified participation in WHO and ICAO based on the principles of fairness and inclusiveness, as well as the ideal of safeguarding public health, well-being and aviation safety of all humankind.

There is no other way to defeat this viral outbreak than by an universal alliance of nations and stakeholders working together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. Taiwan is a valuable partner and part of the effort. Taiwan is ready!

President Tsai issues remarks regarding the coronavirus outbreak and responds to questions from the media