FAPA Blasts State Department Report
On Taiwan’s Participation in the WHO
Clinton Administration’s kowtowing to China is evident throughout
the State Department report to the Congress, “Taiwan Participation
in the World Health Organization,” released yesterday.
Instead of the U.S. taking leadership on Taiwan’s meaningful
and appropriate participation in the WHO, as called for
in HR 1794, the report details the People’s Republic of
China’s objections to such participation and the seeming
paralysis this brings to any United States efforts.
People’s Republic of China has been actively and adamantly
opposed to many of Taiwan’s attempts at membership
or participation [in international organizations],” the
report says. No kidding. “U.S. representatives
have raised and will continue to raise with Beijing our
support for the people of Taiwan to contribute to as well
as benefit from the work of the WHO.” Good luck.
Why not try to get other countries lined up to support Taiwan?
status for Taiwan, the report laments the fact that “there
is not currently sufficient support within the membership
to accomplish this.” Is the U.S. trying to actively
change this “fact,” or is it happy to abstain when voting
time comes and let others go on record as dancing to Beijing’s
the possibility of a Taiwan non-governmental organization
having relations with the WHO is blocked, says the report.
Why? “The PRC would assert – and others would accept – that
only it has the right to consent to the participation of
a Taiwan non-governmental organization.” Kafka must
be rolling over in his grave at this sentence. This is the
ultimate absurdity, paralleling the demand by Beijing that
any earthquake aid to Taiwan from international organizations
during Taiwan’s monster September disaster had to get its
report makes the US look like a child unable to speak up
to the PRC adult,” stated Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President.
“It reminds me of the Taiwanese saying, ‘Children have ears
but no mouth’- they should only listen to adults and not
speak out. Congress and the Taiwanese-American community
throughout the country demand that the Administration take
a pro-active position, not roll over and play dead because
of what the PRC thinks. Taiwan is not, and has never been,
under PRC control. The 22 million people of democratic Taiwan
deserve to participate in the WHO and all international
more information, contact Michael Fonte or Echo Lin at 202-547-3686
Report Required by Public Law 106-137
Fiscal Year 2000
PARTICIPATION IN THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
Law 106-137 requires the Secretary of State to submit a
report to Congress an Administration efforts to support
Taiwan's participation in international organizations, in
particular the World Health Organization (WHO). Separately,
section 704 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for
Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001 requires the Secretary of State
to submit a report on U.S. Government efforts related to
Taiwan's participation in international
organizations generally. The following Report focuses on
efforts specifically with regard to the WHO. A second report
(both classified and unclassified versions) that addresses
international organizations besides the WHO will be submitted
by the Secretary pursuant to the requirement of the Foreign
Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2000 and 2001
framework of our policy reflects positions taken by the
U.S. government over the last three decades. The legal basis
for our unofficial relations with Taiwan is provided by
the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, 22 V.S.C. 3301 et seq.
(TRA). "Through the TRA, the people of the United States
maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations
with the people on
1979, the United States has recognized the Government of
the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government
of China. The U.S. has also acknowledged the Chinese position
that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.
The Reagan Administration, in 1982, clarified that the U.S.
has no intention of pursuing a policy of "two Chinas" or
"one China, one
Taiwan." These elements of our policy are set out in the
three U.S.-PRC joint communiqués of 1972, 1979, and
with this longstanding policy, the U.S. government has not
supported and does not support Taiwan's membership in organizations,
such as the United Nations or WHO, where statehood is a
requirement for membership. The Administration actively
supports Taiwan's membership in international organizations
that do not require statehood for membership, such as APEC
and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
the Administration conducted a review of Taiwan policy --
the first by any Administration. That review confirmed the
policy on international organizations as outlined above.
Then Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific
Affairs Winston Lord, in addition to confirming these elements
of our policy, also announced that the Administration would
"support opportunities for Taiwan's voice to be heard in
organizations where its membership is not possible.”
movement on this front since 1994 has not been as rapid
as the Administration had hoped. The People's Republic of
China has been actively and adamantly opposed to many of
Taiwan's attempts at membership or participation. In addition,
decision-making in most international organizations is generally
based on consensus and international support for
Taiwan's participation in international organizations has
been extremely limited. (Only 28 countries have diplomatic
relations with Taiwan.) Finally, there are relatively
few international organizations whose charters do not include
statehood as a prerequisite for membership.
above, the Administration does not support Taiwan's becoming
a member of the WHO, given that Article 3 of the WHO's
Constitution explicitly requires statehood for membership.
Changing the Constitution of the WHO to allow Taiwan membership
would require a two-third vote of the World Health Assembly
as well as ratification of the amendment of the Constitution
by two-thirds of the state members. This is not a feasible
said, the Administration does believe that the people on
Taiwan should be able to contribute to as well as benefit
from the work of the WHO, and it seeks appropriate ways
for Taiwan's voice to be heard. The Administration supports
any modalities or arrangements acceptable to the membership
of the WHO to allow for Taiwan to participate in the work
of the organization. The Administration has taken several
steps regarding possibilities for Taiwan to
participate in the work of the WHO:
the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the Administration
has consulted frequently with the Taiwan authorities on
modalities for participation in international organizations,
including the WHO.
have suggested that Taiwan's non-governmental organizations
and medical community explore participating in WHO activities
through international non-governmental organizations, such
as the World Medical Association, which have relations with
have raised with the WHO Secretariat our interest in finding
appropriate ways for Taiwan to benefit from as well as contribute
to the work of the WHO.
we have proposed to the PRC, Taiwan and the WHO secretariat
that Taiwan health experts and physicians be invited to
attend WHO expert meetings and conferences in their professional
of Observer Status
1996 the Taiwan authorities have pursued the possibility
of obtaining observer status at the annual World Health
Assembly. The Constitution and rules of procedure of the
WHO do not explicitly establish a form of observer status
at the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) for which Taiwan
would be eligible.
observers have sometimes been authorized at the WHA meetings.
In the early 1950s, when the WHA was held in Rome, the WHO's
Director-General invited the Vatican and the Order Of Malta
to attend the WHA as observers. Since then, representatives
of both have continued to attend meetings as observers.
In more recent years, however, observer status has been
authorized by affirmative decisions of the World Health
Assembly, not by of the Director-General. Thus, in 1974,
the World Health Assembly passed a resolution granting "liberation
movements" observer status at the annual World Health Assembly;
this had the affect, inter alia, of including the Palestinian
Liberation Organization (PLO).
the WHA’s Rules of Procedure, a majority of the Members
present and voting would have to vote for a resolution conferring
observer status on Taiwan. There is currently not sufficient
support within the membership to accomplish this. The overwhelmingly
negative vote in 1997 on whether the issue of granting observer
status to Taiwan should be included on the WHA agenda clearly
indicates that there is little support for such a resolution.
option that has been raised is the possibility of a Taiwan
non-governmental organization having relations with the
WHO. Taiwan in some other organizations has successfully
pursued this course. However, the WHO Constitution stipulates
that "national organizations" as opposed to Non-governmental
international organizations may only apply "with the consent
of the Government concerned." The PRC would assert -- and
others would accept -- that only it has the right to consent
to the participation of a Taiwan non-governmental organization.
continue to look for practical ways for Taiwan's voice to
be heard in the WHO. In the future, we hope that improved
relations across the Strait that might grow out of enhanced
cross-Strait dialogue can lead to creative solutions to
the issue of greater access for Taiwan to international
organizations. The administration views successful Taiwan
participation in the Olympics, the Asian Development Bank,
and APEC as clear examples of the contributions that Taiwan
can make, and should be able to make, in international settings.
These contributions are possible because Beijing and Taipei
created a climate in which they found formulas to resolve
representatives have raised and will continue to raise with
Beijing our support for the people on Taiwan to contribute
to as well as benefit from the work of the WHO. Within the
context of our policy, we have urged Beijing to find ways
for the people on Taiwan to participate in as well as benefit
from the work of the WHO in particular and international
organizations in general.
same time that we explore concrete opportunities for Taiwan
to participate in the work of the WHO, we will also continue
our active program of bilateral cooperation on public health
and preventive medicine, including activities in the fields
of epidemiology training, TB, polio, arboviruses, and emerging
infectious disease, among others. This bilateral cooperation
helps ensure that Taiwan has access to current information
on public health and medical developments though it is not
a member of the WHO.
the American Institute in Taiwan, the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services has ongoing cooperation with Taiwan
authorities in responding to public health emergencies,
such as the 1997 enterovirus outbreak in Taiwan, when a
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) team was
quickly dispatched to respond to the epidemic at the request
of Taiwan. The team remained in Taiwan for approximately
six weeks working with Taiwan public health authorities
and assisting Taiwan authorities in responding to the health
crisis. CDC has continued to work on analysis of the data
in coordination with Taiwan health authorities. Most
recently, a CDC epidemiologist also traveled to Taiwan shortly
after the September 21, 1999 earthquake to assist the Taiwan
Department of Health, in evaluating risk of an epidemic.