We are writing to express our disappointment with
the recent report issued by the State Department, pursuant
to the requirement of P.L. 107-158, with regard to Taiwan’s
participation in the World Health Organization (WHO).
The report was more of a laundry list of obstacles,
past and future, to Taiwan’s participation in the WHO, even
in observer status, rather than “a United States plan to
endorse and obtain observer stats for Taiwan,” as required
by law. An overview of the historic position of the United States government
on the issue of Taiwan’s participation in international
organizations is not what is needed, or required. What we would like to have seen and, frankly, expected was
a proactive approach with a blueprint of how to achieve
our goal at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, which begins
May 13. Time is of the essence here.
We are certain, Mr. Secretary, that you are aware
of the President’s public commitment to Taiwan and to a
foreign policy which is fully in keeping with the Taiwan
Relations Act as a basis for cross-strait developments.
Clear recognition of Taiwan’s legitimate role in
the world community through participation in international
organizations is of paramount importance.
We were pleased to not that Taiwan immediately followed
China in acceding to the World Trade Organization (WTO)
late last year. Beijing
sought Taiwan’s participation as a “separate customs territory”
for its own commercial interest but has pursued a double
standard in blocking Taiwan’s observer status, as a “public
health entity,” in WHO.
Since statehood is not an issue in applying for observer
status, Beijing has not grounds for its continued obstruction
of Taiwan’s membership.
We need to state this forcefully and immediately
and, at the same time, to inform other WHO members ready
to gather in Geneva of our unequivocal advocacy of Taiwan
and our intention to vigorously pursue means for obtaining
Taiwan’s participation in the WHO.
Participation, at least as an observer, is crucial
to the long-term health and viability of our friends, the
people of Taiwan.
Mr. Secretary, without a clear plan, we are concerned
that the stated desire of the Congress and the articulated
position of the Administration will fail to be implemented.
And the world will miss the opportunity to have Taiwan’s
expertise, good will and assistance put to work helping
to solve our global health problems.
We true that the omissions in the recent report submitted
by the State Department to the Congress will be corrected
so that the United Stated can respond immediately to the
need to assist our long time friends on Taiwan in participation
in this important international organization.
There can be no complete satisfaction until Taiwan’s
status and global contributions are respected and appreciated
by the international community.
We look forward to hearing form you regarding the
State Department’s revised plan of action at the earliest
Benjamin A. Gilman