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Taiwanese Community in Christchurch Rallies for Taiwan's WHO Participation


On May 18, the Taiwanese community in Christchurch came together for the "Health for All, Taiwan Can Help" march, urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to grant Taiwan participation. The event saw the presence of Taiwan Representative Joanne Ou and MP Hamish Campbell, Deputy Chairman of the Health Committee of the New Zealand Parliament, who both voiced their support.

Rep. Ou emphasized in her address that the exclusion of Taiwan would create a significant gap in global public health efforts. She underscored that Taiwan's advanced medical expertise and high technology are valuable assets. Advocating for Taiwan's inclusion in discussions regarding the "Pandemic Agreement," Rep Ou urged the WHO to recognize Taiwan's capacity to contribute meaningfully to international efforts aimed at fortifying responses to disease threats.

Representative Ou highlighted Taiwan's strategic location in the Asia-Pacific region, with over 72 million travelers transiting through the island annually, including 580,000 from Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, 40% of global maritime traffic navigates through the Taiwan Strait, served by 86 airlines, including Air New Zealand's thrice-weekly direct flights. Notably, the Taipei Flight Information Region (Taipei FIR) manages a staggering 2 million flights yearly.

Representative Ou expressed gratitude for New Zealand's repeated public endorsement of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, emphasizing the necessity of resolving cross-strait disputes through peaceful dialogue, devoid of coercion or intimidation.

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During the event, MP Hamish Campbell stressed the imperative of inclusivity within the global health system, acknowledging the significant contributions of Taiwanese overseas Chinese to New Zealand.

Decked in traditional Taiwanese indigenous attire and brandishing flags of Taiwan and New Zealand, participants underscored the deep bond between the indigenous peoples of both nations and the robust ties between Taiwan and New Zealand. Following a spirited performance by the "Lion Dance Troupe," approximately 80 marchers traversed Christchurch's iconic Bridge of Remembrance, engaging with onlookers and garnering widespread support and admiration from the local populace.

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