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    Taiwanese American Heritage Week

For immediate release                    May 12, 2003


In a letter to the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) congratulating Taiwanese Americans with their annual celebration of the Taiwanese American Heritage week, House International Relations Committee chairman Henry Hyde accuses the World Health Organization (WHO) of locking Taiwan out of the organization "due to narrow political motives."

The chairman writes: "Taiwan, although, in close proximity to the epicenter of the SARS outbreak in southern China, remains locked out of WHO participation due to narrow political motives. This shortsighted attitude imperils not only the health of Taiwan's 23 million people, but also denies full regional coordination on a continuing basis in fighting an epidemic which could potentially threaten us all. [...] The still unfolding SARS crisis only underscores the need for WHO observer status for Taiwan."

FAPA President Ming-chi Wu, Ph.D., states: "It is a sad irony that people in Taiwan have to die before the world will listen. I refuse to accept the notion that the international community will let politics prevail over human suffering. Taiwan needs to be included in the WHO summit in Geneva next week."

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