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HOUSE PASSES BILL SUPPORTING
TAIWAN's PARTICIPATION IN W.H.O.

The House passed H.R. 1794 today (10/4/99), a bill calling for Taiwan's "appropriate and meaningful participation in the World Health Organization" and requiring a report to the Congress from the Secretary of State not later than January 1, 2000 regarding "efforts of the Secretary to fulfill the commitment made in the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review to more actively support Taiwan's participation in international organizations."

Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the bill's author, said that "denial of Taiwanese participation in the WHO is an unjustifiable violation of its people's fundamental human rights. Good health is a basic right for every citizen of the world, and Taiwan's admission to the WHO would greatly help foster that right for its people."

Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE), chair of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee, supported the bill, stating that "no one can responsibly argue" with the legislation's call for "appropriate and meaningful participation" by Taiwan in the WHO and that it was "entirely appropriate" for Congress to ask for a report from the State Department on its activities on Taiwan's behalf.

Noting the recent earthquake that devastated Taiwan, Brown decried "the reality of the One China policy" which meant that "even in Taiwan's darkest hour the United Nations had to receive permission from the People's Republic of China before helping Taiwan."

Dr. Chen Wen-yen, President of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), added, "The reality is that Taiwan is not a part of China but a de facto independent country.  A new formulation of U.S. policy is needed - a 'one China, one Taiwan policy.'   Not a small part of this new policy must be vigorous support for Taiwan's voice to be heard directly and fully in the United Nations and its affiliated organizations."

Earlier this year, Senate Resolution 26 passed with similar language to HR 1794.  With no binding power, the Senate resolution's call for a report by April 20, 1999 by the Secretary of State on efforts to implement the 1994 Taiwan Policy Review was ignored by the State Department.

H.R. 1794 puts binding legislative muscle behind the call for active efforts on Taiwan's behalf by the State Department.

Date: October 4, 1999

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