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The United States has called for Taiwan to be included as an observer in the World Health Organizations upcoming meeting, but China has warned the self-ruling island against any actions intended to divide it from the mainland.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement Friday, arguing that "there is no reasonable justification for Taiwans continued exclusion" from the World Health Assembly (WHA), an annual international gathering of just about every nation in the world set to take place on May 24. While Taiwan is viewed by the United Nations as part of China, the U.S. feels it deserves it own seat at the table, especially given its early, effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was first observed in Chinas Hubei province.

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