The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday refused to discuss a proposal to invite Taiwan to take part in its annual assembly, meaning the island will not attend for the first time in nine years following tensions with the Chinese mainland.
A motion had been put forward by some of the WHO's 194 member countries - including Nicaragua, Paraguay and Belize - to allow Taiwan to participate as an observer. The WHO's annual assembly decided by consensus however not to put the issue on the agenda.
Taiwan participated in the World Health Assembly as an observer from 2009 to 2016.
This year however it failed to receive an invitation.
This came after the island's new leader last year angered Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of China.
"After the Democratic Progressive Party came to power in the Taiwan region, it refused to recognize that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China. By so doing, it undermined the political basis of cross-Strait relations," China's Health and Family Planning Minister Li Bin told a press conference on Sunday.
"As a result, the political basis of the Taiwan region's participation in the World Health Assembly has ceased to exist," she added.
"The position of the Chinese government regarding the participation of Taiwan region in international organizations has been very consistent. That is one-China principle must be observed," Li went on.
The 70th session of the World Health Assembly kicked off on Monday until May 31 in Geneva, Switzerland.