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    WHO Past Campaign - FAPA Welcomes Rep. Sherrod Brown's Strong Statement

For Immediate Release.                                                                                                                      Thursday, January 13, 2000

FAPA Welcomes Rep. Sherrod Brown's Strong Statement
Regarding the State Department's WHO Report


 Washington DC. - The Formosan Association for Public Affairs today warmly welcomed Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)'s strong criticism of the Clinton Administration's report on Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO).

"Rep. Brown's statement is right on the mark," stated Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President.  "We fully support Rep. Brown's call for real leadership by the Administration on this and other Taiwan-related issues."

 "The State Department's report on Taiwan's participation in the WHO," Brown's statement reads, "is totally unacceptable.  Instead of the active support for Taiwan's participation that Public Law 106-137 mandates, this report is a passive recital of the obstacles the PRC and its allies have raised."

The Administration was required to report of its efforts to secure Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) by an initiative passed by Congress and signed by the President in December.  The legislation was sponsored by Brown, a member of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee and the top Democrat on the Commerce Health and Environment Subcommittee.

"The Congress called for leadership," Brown continued.  "We don't want to hear that "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."  We want to hear that the Administration is taking the lead in building support for Taiwan's participation.

We don't want to hear that "there is currently not sufficient support within the membership to accomplish this [observer status for Taiwan]."  We want the U.S. taking leadership to build support for such status. The observer status of the Vatican, the Knights of Malta, and the PLO are noted as historically conditioned.  Now is the time, the right moment in history, for Taiwan to join the WHO with such status.

The Administration's pledge to take future steps to elicit China's blessing for Taiwan's WHO participation defies common sense. When I attended the World Health Assembly Geneva meeting last year, I was shocked to see our representatives sit silently while China and Myanmar, nations with the worst records on human rights, denounced Taiwan's membership in the WHO as a threat to Asian stability. The last time we went through China to help the Taiwanese, victims of a catastrophic earthquake languished for three days while the U.N. waited for China's approval to distribute aid.

We're glad to hear the Administration is exploring "concrete opportunities for Taiwan to participate in the work of the WHO," not simply in its "work." I will ask my Congressional colleagues to mandate that the Administration vote for Taiwan's observer status this year, and take a vigorous leadership role with other nations to insure a positive vote for Taiwan."

Chen commented, "There are several ways to say "thank you" in Taiwanese.  One is an expression of gratitude to someone who has gone to great lengths  to be helpful.  To Rep. Brown, the Taiwanese American community says "Law-lat (??) " for his outstanding leadership on this legislation and so many issues related to Taiwan.  We stand in total agreement with him that 'now is the time' for our country to explore a new, creative relationship with democratic Taiwan, our homeland."

For more information, contact Michael Fonte at 202-547-3686.

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