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    WHO Past Campaign - FAPA Criticizes State Department Report

FAPA Criticizes State Department Report
Demands Observer Status for Taiwan in WHO Assembly

 The U.S. State Department clearly hasn’t gotten this message: when Taiwan’s voters chose Chen Shui-bian as their president on March 18th, they moved Taiwan into a new era.  All remnants of the old civil war between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party were put to rest.  Under a Democratic Progressive Party administration, Taiwan stands before the world as a fully democratic nation, ready to take its rightful place as a responsible member of the world community.

In the unclassified version of the required report regarding Administration efforts for greater participation by Taiwan in international organizations, released March 21st, the State Department refuses to press for observer status in the World Health Assembly for Taiwan.

Says the report, mandated by Section 704 of the FY 2000-2001 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, "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 would be little support for such a resolution.  We believe that it is more helpful to find concrete and practical ways for the people on Taiwan to benefit from the work of the WHO, rather than pursuing an option that only demonstrates the current limited support for an observership.”

In terms of Taiwan’s development, the three years since 1997 have been filled with great change, culminating in the election of Chen Shui-bian.  Old  concepts have been broken, old ideas rejected.  It is time for the U.S. State Department to recognize this reality shift and stand up to China’s phony claim that Beijing represents Taiwan.

Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and friends in the House of Representatives don’t believe the State Department, left to its own devices, will move on this question.  So, they have introduced HR 4004, which states:

“The Secretary of State shall initiate a United States plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the annual weeklong summit of the World Health Assembly in May 2000 in Geneva, Switzerland, and shall instruct the United States delegation to Geneva to implement such plan.”

 “The people of Taiwan were put to a test by the increasingly ominous threats emanating from China,” said Chen Wen-yen, FAPA president.  “Exercise your democratic rights the wrong way by voting for Chen Shui-bian, thundered Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, and we will make sure you never get the chance to exercise them again.  The Taiwanese people passed the test with flying colors.”

“It is time for the U.S. to stand behind its own ideals and support democratic Taiwan.  A small first step would be pressing for Taiwan’s observer status in the World Health Assembly,” Chen stated.

 For more information, contact Mike Fonte at the Formosan Association for Public Affairs – (202)-547-3686.

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