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    WHO 2002 - CTC Wrote to Armitage

Congress of the United States

Washington, DC 20515

May 1, 2002

The Honorable Richard Armitage

Deputy Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C street N. W.

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Deputy Secretary Armitage:

As the founding members of the House of Representatives Congressional Taiwan Caucus, we are concerned about the State Departments recent report on the United States plan to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan during the annual summit of the World Health Assembly (WHA).

In the report, the State Department reiterated the United States long standing support of appropriate ways for Taiwan to participate in international organizations, specifically the World Health Organization (WHO). Unfortunately, the report does not clearly state the Administration's intention to publicly support Taiwan in efforts to obtain observer status during the 2002 WHA.

The State Department's policy has been to work with Taiwan, China, WHO officials, and key interested parties to ensure a smooth process and a fair hearing for Taiwan's bid. However, the report does not offer any insight as to the steps the United States will be taking to work with Taiwan and other WHA members states to achieve this goal. Taiwanese officials have recently expressed their willingness to be classified as a public health entity, a classification similar to the one Taiwan uses in its membership in the World Trade Organization. We believe this recent development alters the dynamics of the Taiwanese observer status debate, and may require the state department to reevaluate its approach to the issue.

We greatly appreciate your role and that of President Bush in advocating and securing Taiwan's accession to the WTO. We hope that you are equally committed to Taiwan's participation as an observer or public health entity in the WHO, and will ensure that the United States introduces a resolution to that effect during the WHA summit. We also respectfully request a meeting with you to clarify the state department's plan for the upcoming WHA. We will contact you to arrange a meeting.

We look forward to working with you in the future.


Sherrod Brown, Steve Chabot, Robert Wexler, Dana Rohrabacher


President George W. Bush

The Honorable Colin Powell

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