U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), co-chairs of the Senate Taiwan Caucus, praised the Senate passage of S. 249, their legislation that calls for the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for Taiwan to regain observer status in the World Health Organization.
“Since 2017, China has blocked Taiwan from participating in the World Health Organization,” Inhofe said. “That is unacceptable—and as we look at the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, China’s diplomatic bullying is even more egregious. While China failed to warn the public about the pandemic, silenced doctors, rebuffed efforts for an independent inquiry and hoarded medical supplies, Taiwan has been a strong partner in public health. Taiwan has donated countless medical supplies around the world, including the United States, and has been a leader in treatment, research and information sharing.
“Keeping them out of WHO, especially at the request of China, as the world grapples with a global pandemic cannot stand,” Inhofe continued. “I applaud Secretary Pompeo for the steps he’s already taken to ensure Taiwan can attend the WHO Summit on the coronavirus pandemic later this month, and look forward to his strategy that will restore Taiwan’s observer status.”
“As the world bears witness to the risks and costs of China’s decades-long efforts to block Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization, the United States must do more to reinforce our support for Taiwan’s standing in the international community,” said Ranking Member Menendez. “Securing Taiwan a seat at the WHO’s decision-making table is not only the right thing to do, it is an imperative as we should be learning from Taipei’s responsible and successful response to the coronavirus outbreak. I am delighted the Senate has unanimously approved this legislation instructing the Trump administration to demonstrate our commitment to the well-being of the people of Taiwan by implementing a coherent U.S. diplomatic strategy to support Taiwan’s rightful inclusion in international public health efforts.”
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