Health for the People of Taiwan"
Speech Rep. Sherrod Brown - San Diego and Los Angeles
July 31, 1999
I look at America and am proud to see the melting pot that
distinguishes it from any other country in the world.
I am happy to see the assimilation that Taiwanese youth,
young professionals, and adults have undergone.
they could see you here tonight, our founding fathers would
be awestruck at the success and strength of our democracy,
just as I am overwhelmed by the enormous changes that have
overtaken every day life in Taiwan as it has evolved into
a healthy, prosperous nation governed by the rule of law.
The people of Taiwan have proved to the whole world freedom
and democracy are not American ideals, they are universal
principles that apply to every individual, that apply to
every community, that apply to every state.
people of Taiwan -- your friends, your relatives, and your
neighbors -- are the heirs to the legacy of our founding
fathers. It your countrymen, your flesh and blood,
that have chosen Thomas Jefferson over Mao Tse Tung, the
Statue of Liberty over the tyranny of Chang Kai Shek.
is why I believe July 9 will one day be as important to
the Taiwanese people as July 4 is to the people of the United
States. In fact, I forecast that President Lee Teng
Hui's call for "state-to-state" relations with the People's
Republic of China will eclipse Double 10 (October 10) as
Taiwan's most important holiday, if not one day abolish
longer will we be forced to observe the arrival of the Nationalists
as Taiwan's day of joy -- July 9 will be forever etched
in the minds of the Taiwanese people as the day it's government
finally decided to acknowledge reality and at long last
mirror the feelings of its people. Because we believe so
strongly in self determination, in freedom for all people,
all of us here tonight and our representatives in Washington
must immediately acknowledge the importance of July 9 for
the future of Taiwan. All of us, the residents of the world's
oldest democracy, must immediately abandon our misguided
"One China Policy."
owe it to our sister democracy, to those who have chosen
Jefferson over Mao, to those who have chosen liberty over
tyranny, to substitute the "One China Policy" for a "One
China, One Taiwan policy." We owe it to our allies
in the struggle against oppression to support a policy that
reflects reality and a policy that supports the right of
all people to determine their own political future.
that purpose I -- and a half dozen of other Members of the
House of Representatives -- introduced a resolution earlier
this week which does exactly that: My resolution,
H. Con. Res 166, simply states that "the United States should
recognize Taiwan's independence if the people of Taiwan
opt for such status through a democratic mechanism, including
a plebiscite," a right that is enshrined in the Charter
of the United Nations. The resolution concludes that
"in the interim, the United States should immediately adopt
a "One China, One Taiwan Policy" which reflects the present
day reality that Taiwan and China are two separate nations."
thought you would like that.
fact is that the People's Republic of China has used the
"one China policy" as a way to squeeze Taiwan out of international
organizations, especially ones that require statehood for
membership, such as the United Nations and the World Health
more, the "one China policy" has been used to block Taiwan
from establishing relations with countries with which China
maintains diplomatic relations, including the world's oldest
democracy and Taiwan's only insurance against annihilation:
the United States.
bonds are there for all to see. When the Chinese dictatorship
was busy ordering its citizens to ransack our embassy in
Beijing last May, the Taiwanese government paid scant attention
to the handful of right wing, pro-unification protesters
in front of our embassy in Taipei.
bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade was a horrible accident,
but the truth of the matter was that it was an accident.
was rightly fighting to uphold the fundamental human rights
of some of the world's poorest people, rights that the Chinese
government denies its own citizens.
fact, the 1998 State Department report on human rights uses
nearly identical language to describe Serbia's genocide
in Kosovo as China's genocide in Tibet and in China's heavily
Muslim province of Shinkiang or East Turkestan as it is
known in the West.
course, China's response to President Lee's announcement
is the harshest it has used since the 1996 elections, when
it was busy shooting missiles at its democratic neighbor.
simple fact is that all of us here tonight know that Taiwan
has always been an independent state, and that it has never
been a part of the People's Republic of China. Again,
I applaud President Lee's remarks, and hope that this is
a major step towards Taiwan's independence.
this move will not only give the people of Taiwan the recognition
they deserve, but should influence Taiwan's bid to join
international organizations, especially the World Health
you all know, last May I traveled to Geneva to observe the
annual WHO summit, and was stunned to see our government
completely ignore Taiwan's plight.
I was shocked to see our representative sit silently
while China and Burma, the world's two worst regimes, denounced
Taiwan's membership in the WHO as a threat to East Asian
threat to East Asian security" I said to myself? The
WHO is the world's foremost organization working to eradicate
and control disease and to improve the health every single
person in the world. How can that undermine China's
security? How can saving the lives of Taiwanese children,
children that the Chinese communists claim to be their very
own, be a threat to the security and stability of the region?
sole purpose of the World Health Organization is to institute
immunization programs to let hundreds of millions of children
live better, longer, and healthier lives. Isn't it
in China's interests that babies on both sides of the Taiwan
Strait have the chance to grow into healthy adults?
course they should. The denial of Taiwanese participation
in the WHO is an unjustifiable violation of its people's
fundamental human rights. Good health is a basic right of
every citizen of the world, and Taiwan's admission into
this organization would help foster that right for every
single citizen of Taiwan.
right this wrong, to end this injustice, we must continue
to fight for the rights of the Taiwanese people. Just
this week I met with the head of the American Public Health
Association, Dr. Mohammad Akhter, who I had previously met
in Geneva in discussed the plight of the Taiwanese people
in gaining admission to the WHO.
addition to his duties as the head of the APHA, Dr. Akhter
sits on the Executive Board of the World Federation of Public
Health Associations, an organization similar to the WHO
but composed of national public health associations.
All of you will be pleased to know, correction,
all of you will be thrilled to know that during the course
of our meeting Dr. Akhter formally requested that Dr. Deng
Cha Fang and the Medical Professional Association of Taiwan
immediately apply for membership in the WFPHA.
Dr. Akhter's encouragement and support, we will fight to
see MPAT join this organization, we fill fight to see MPAT
gain the same recognition as the China Preventive Medical
Association, fight to see that MPAT and every medical professional
in Taiwan can contribute to building a healthier world.
addition to this success, after the summer recess, the House
of Representatives will vote on my bill that would require
our State Department to either support Taiwan's participation
in the WHO or to explain, in an official report, exactly
why our government will fight a war for human rights in
Europe but ignore them in Taiwan.
have been fighting to get our State Department to support
Taiwan's membership in the WHO for the last three years,
and believe the imminent passage of my bill, H.R. 1794,
will be a huge victory for every single Taiwanese and every
American that cares about human rights.
I wrote in the Washington Post last year: "We must act immediately
to right a very serious wrong. We owe it to the children
time has come for all of us to show our support for Taiwan's
statehood The State Department must start acknowledging
reality and substitute its "One China Policy" for a "One
China, One Taiwan policy" - a policy that reflects reality!
but the people of Taiwan has the right to determine the
future of Taiwan!