Taiwan entwined in WHO’s history (Review of Harry Yi-Jui Wu’s ‘Mad By the Millions’ for Global Asia)

The following book review appeared in the September issue of Global Asia:

Taiwan’s relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) has been problematic at best since the country was expelled from the UN agency in 1972.1 From 2009 to 2016, as then-President Ma Ying-jeou fostered a cosy relationship with Beijing, Taiwan was granted observer status at the World Health Assembly. At China’s behest, this was swiftly withdrawn following the 2016 election of “pro-independence” President Tsai Ing-wen.

More recently, following the recognition it has received for its exemplary early response to Covid-19, Taiwan’s WHO status has been in the spotlight again. While publication of Mad by the Millions came too late for author Harry Yi-Jui Wu to mention Taiwan’s reinvigorated bid for WHO inclusion, in providing insight into the organization’s formative years, the book gives timely perspective on the Taiwan-WHO dynamic.

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