TAIPEI: Taiwan fiercely criticized the United Nations Friday after its students were barred from visiting a public hearing in Geneva as Beijing seeks to further isolate the island internationally. It comes after Taiwan was excluded from a major World Health Organization meeting last month under pressure from China, which still sees the island as part of its territory. Cross-strait relations have worsened dramatically since Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen took power last year and Beijing has cut off all official communication with Taipei. Taiwan’s foreign ministry said Friday it had protested to the UN over the latest incident. “The UN claims to respect freedom for all, regardless of race, nationality, political or other identities… to serve the political purpose of a particular member nation goes against its mission,” it said in a statement. The ministry confirmed a Taiwanese professor and three students had not been allowed to listen to an open session from a public gallery at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.