WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), co-chairmen of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, today introduced bipartisan legislation to direct the State Department to develop a strategy to assist Taiwan in obtaining observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, ahead of its annual global assembly later this year.
In the face of increasing opposition from the People’s Republic of China to Taiwan joining the WHA and other bodies, Senators Menendez and Inhofe have remained resolute in their championship of Taiwan’s participation in appropriate international organizations.
“China’s effort to deny Taiwan a seat at the public health table as the world grapples with a global pandemic is only the latest example of Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian and aggressive behavior and raises grave health, political, economic, and security concerns for the United States and the entire international community,” Senator Menendez said. “To prevent a preeminent leader in medical technology and a magnanimous contributor to humanitarian aid efforts from participating in the WHA on the basis of China’s narrow hostility simply hinders global recovery from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The United States must do more to champion Taiwan’s engagement in the international community, particularly in international public health efforts, and to demonstrate our commitment to the wellbeing of the people of Taiwan.”
“China continues to block Taiwan from obtaining observer status at the World Health Assembly, despite Taiwan being a strong, reliable and dedicated public health partner to the United States and the international community,” Senator Inhofe said. “Taiwan has set a great example in their leadership efforts in mitigating the pandemic at home for their own citizens, and their contributions to the global fight against COVID-19. Conversely, China has gone to great lengths to hide the coronavirus from the public, while simultaneously hoarding medical supplies, silencing doctors and engaging in coercive vaccine diplomacy. Given China’s continued malicious behavior, it is unacceptable to refuse Taiwan a seat at the table any longer. Simply put-Taiwan’s observer status must be restored.”
Find a copy of the legislation HERE.