Taiwan is pushing back against accusations by the director-general of the World Health Organization that racist attacks aimed at him came from the island.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday accused Taiwan's foreign ministry of being linked to a months-long campaign against him amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ethiopian-born microbiologist and researcher is the first African to head the United Nations global health agency.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry expressed its “strong dissatisfaction” with Ghebreyesus’ accusations in a statement Thursday, calling them “groundless.”
"We are a mature and highly accomplished advanced democratic country, and have absolutely not instigated our people to personally attack the WHO's Director General, and have absolutely not made any racist comments," the statement said.
Taiwan has been praised among the international community for its early measures to combat the pandemic, reporting just 379 cases and five deaths despite its close proximity to China. But the democratic self-ruled island has been barred from membership in the World Health Organization due to pressure from China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province.