US Senate passes legislation to strengthen support for Taiwan’s participation in World Health Assembly

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), co-chairmen of the Senate Taiwan Caucus

By Caribbean News Global Caribbean News Global fav US Senate passes legislation to strengthen support for Taiwan’s participation in World Health Assembly

WASHINGTON / TAIWAN – In the face of a global pandemic and mounting hostility from the People’s Republic of China seeking to exclude Taiwan from the World Health Assembly, (WHA) and other bodies, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), co-chairmen of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, on Friday, August 6, 2021, commended the Senate passage of legislation to strengthen support for Taiwan’s participation in WHA.

The Senate passage of their legislation:

“Directs the State Department to develop a strategy to assist Taiwan in obtaining observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization.”

The legislation reads in-part:

“WHO did not invite Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer in 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020. (3) Taiwan remains a model contributor to world health, having provided financial and technical assistance to respond to numerous global health challenges.

“Taiwan has invested over $6,000,000,000 in international medical and humanitarian aid efforts impacting over 80 countries since 1996. In 2014, Taiwan responded to the Ebola crisis by donating $1,000,000 and providing 100,000 sets of personal protective equipment. Through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, the United States and Taiwan have jointly conducted training programs for experts to combat MERS, Dengue Fever, and Zika. In 2020, after successfully containing the spread of the novel coronavirus within its borders while upholding democratic principles, Taiwan generously donated millions of pieces of personal protective equipment and COVID–19 tests to countries in need. These diseases know no borders, and Taiwan’s needless exclusion from global health cooperation increases the dangers presented by global pandemics.

“(5) Congress has established a policy of support for Taiwan’s participation in international bodies that address shared transnational challenges, particularly in the WHO. Congress passed H.R. 1794 21 in the 106th Congress, H.R. 428 in the 107th Congress, and S. 2092 in the 108th Congress to direct the Secretary of State to establish a strategy for, and to report annually to Congress on, efforts to obtain observer status for Taiwan at the WHA.”

Caucus co-chairs Menendez and Inhofe have continued to champion Taiwan’s participation in appropriate international organizations.

“I am proud to bear witness to today’s Senate passage of this critical legislation, which not only demonstrates the United States’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding global health, but also our dedication to defend Taiwan’s place on the world stage in the face of increasing aggression from Beijing,” chairman Menendez said. “By muzzling a preeminent leader in medical technology and a magnanimous contributor to humanitarian aid, China’s narrow-minded hostility poses grave health, political, economic, and security concerns for the United States and the entire international community. We cannot cower as China seeks to gamble with the world’s future. The US must continue to stand by Taiwan, and do more to reaffirm our support for our ally’s international engagement.”

“The Senate made the right call in passing legislation to assist our friends from Taiwan in regaining observer status at the World Health Assembly,” Senator Inhofe said. “The People’s Republic of China has done everything in its power to block them from the WHA, yet Taiwan is a global leader in medical technology and humanitarian aid. We must continue to champion and fight for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.”

A copy of the legislation is available here.

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