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Co-Chairs of the Senate Taiwan Caucus in the US, Senator Jim Inhole, a republican senator from Oklahoma and Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, reintroduced legislation supporting Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) on the 17th of March.

The bill calls for the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken to devise a plan for Taiwan to join the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer, the decision making body of the WHO. Taiwan was an observer in the WHA from 2009 to 2016 until the Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen refused to acknowledge the ‘1992 consensus’, something which supposedly prompted China to exert pressure to exclude Taiwan from international organizations.

The Congress has already passed legilsations to back Taiwan’s inclusion in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the General Assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).

The bill, first passed in May last year has added a new paragraph at the bottom which calls on the secretary of state to provide “An account of the changes and improvements the Secretary of State has made to the United States plan to endorse an obtain observer status for Taiwan at the World Health Assembly, following any annual meetings of the World Health Assembly at which Taiwan did not obtain observer status.”

While reintroducing the bill, Senator Menendez said that “Keeping such a preeminent leader in medical technology and a magnanimous contributor to humanitarian aid efforts” from participating in the WHA “because of China’s narrow hostility” will hinder the world’s recovery from the pandemic and called on the US to do more to champion Taiwan’s engagement in the international community.

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