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US slams WHO and China for excluding Taiwan from key meeting

Pompeo accuses the global agency of playing 'politics while lives are at stake'

A banner with pictures of world leaders is seen before Taiwan's Health Minister Chen Shih-chung's May 15 news conference in Taipei about Taiwan's efforts to get into the World Health Organization.   © Reuters

TOKYO/NEW YORK -- The U.S. condemned the World Health Organization on Monday for bowing to Chinese pressure to not invite Taiwan as an observer to a key meeting this week of the institution's decision-making body.

"The United States condemns Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Assembly," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, accusing the multilateral organization of "play[ing] politics while lives are at stake."

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