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Dunne: China playing politics with world health

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Dunne: China playing politics with world health

United Future leader, Peter Dunne, will present a petition to Parliament next week asking the New Zealand Government to re-consider and support Taiwan’s bid for observer status at the World Health Assembly to be held next May.

“Today, the World Health Organisation is warning of the imminent danger of a global flu pandemic arising from the bird flu virus and yet, the WHO and its Assembly are refusing to allow Taiwan even observer status because they’re too afraid of offending the People’s Republic of China,” said Mr Dunne.

“This is nuts! The people of Taiwan interact constantly with the people of Asia, including those in mainland China. It is surely in the interests of world (including Chinese) health to keep Taiwan in the loop when it seems we’re on the verge of a worldwide health catastrophe.

“It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that a flu pandemic won’t recognise political or geographical boundaries, should it come, and it is high time the governments of the world exercised some commonsense over allowing Taiwan to contribute to the campaign against this major threat to world health,” said Mr Dunne.

The near-1000 signature petition was handed to Mr Dunne in Auckland yesterday and includes the signatures of a large number of Taiwanese community leaders in New Zealand.


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