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Congressional Asia Policy Leaders Urge State Department To Pursue Observer Status in WHO for Taiwan

Congressional Asia Policy Leaders Urge State Department
To Pursue Observer Status in WHO for Taiwan

Five Members of Congress, in a 1/11/00 letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, urged the Clinton Administration “to support Taiwan’s upcoming bid to obtain observer status in the World Health Organization.”

 Reps. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Cox (R-CA), Sam Gejdenson (D-CT), Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said they were “deeply distressed by our government’s refusal to support Taiwan’s bid for observer status in the WHO.”

The Representatives note that the State Department report released in early January, mandated by Public Law 106-137, states “there is insufficient support for such a resolution.”  The State Department then says it will look for “practical” ways to find a way for Taiwan to participate in the WHO.

“Taiwan is denied participation in the WHO because of the People’s Republic of China’s assertion its neighbor is not a nation and should be denied access to the latest medical protocols,” the Representatives state.  “The fact of the matter is that participation for Taiwan in the World Health Organization poses no threat to Beijing’s security but would enhance the quality of life for its 1.2 billion inhabitants.”

The Representatives close their letter by saying they believe “it is more than appropriate the Administration support Taiwan’s effort to pursue observer status in the WHO.”  Rep. Brown plans to mandate such an Administration position in the upcoming World Health Assembly.

“This letter is a strong signal to the Administration,” stated Chen Wen-yen, FAPA President.  “Congress and the Taiwanese-American community throughout the country seek a pro-active position by the Administration, not roll over and play dead because of what the PRC thinks.”

FAPA, founded in 1982, is a non-profit public policy research and education organization dedicated to: 1. Promoting international support for the right of the people of Taiwan to establish an independent and democratic country, 2. To advance the rights and interests of Taiwanese communities throughout the world and 3. Promote the peace and security of Taiwan.

For more information, contact Coen Blaauw at 202-547-3686.

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