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S. 812: A bill to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, and for other purposes.


The text of the bill below is as of Apr 22, 2022 (Preprint (Suspension)).


117TH CONGRESS
   1ST SESSION
                      S. 812

                     AN ACT
To direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to
   regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health
   Organization, and for other purposes.

 1      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
 2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

2 1 SECTION 1. PARTICIPATION OF TAIWAN IN THE WORLD 2 HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 3 (a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following find- 4 ings: 5 (1) The World Health Organization (WHO) is 6 a specialized agency of the United Nations, charged 7 with coordinating health efforts within the United 8 Nations system. The World Health Assembly 9 (WHA) is the decision-making body of the WHO, 10 which convenes annually in May to set the policies 11 and priorities of the organization. Statehood is not 12 a requirement for attendance at the WHA, and nu- 13 merous observers, including non-members and non- 14 governmental organizations, attended the most re- 15 cent virtual WHA in May 2020. 16 (2) Taiwan began seeking to participate in the 17 WHO as an observer in 1997. In 2009, with strong 18 support from successive United States Administra- 19 tions, Congress, and like-minded WHO Member 20 States, and during a period of improved Cross-Strait 21 relations, Taiwan received an invitation to attend 22 the WHA as an observer under the name ‘‘Chinese 23 Taipei’’. Taiwan received the same invitation each 24 year until 2016, when following the election of Presi- 25 dent Tsai-Ing Wen of the Democratic Progressive 26 Party, Taiwan’s engagement in the international † S 812 ES
3 1 community began facing increased resistance from 2 the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Taiwan’s in- 3 vitation to the 2016 WHA was received late and in- 4 cluded new language conditioning Taiwan’s partici- 5 pation on the PRC’s ‘‘one China principle’’. The 6 WHO did not invite Taiwan to attend the WHA as 7 an observer in 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020. 8 (3) Taiwan remains a model contributor to 9 world health, having provided financial and technical 10 assistance to respond to numerous global health 11 challenges. Taiwan has invested over 12 $6,000,000,000 in international medical and human- 13 itarian aid efforts impacting over 80 countries since 14 1996. In 2014, Taiwan responded to the Ebola crisis 15 by donating $1,000,000 and providing 100,000 sets 16 of personal protective equipment. Through the Glob- 17 al Cooperation and Training Framework, the United 18 States and Taiwan have jointly conducted training 19 programs for experts to combat MERS, Dengue 20 Fever, and Zika. In 2020, after successfully con- 21 taining the spread of the novel coronavirus within its 22 borders while upholding democratic principles, Tai- 23 wan generously donated millions of pieces of per- 24 sonal protective equipment and COVID–19 tests to 25 countries in need. These diseases know no borders, † S 812 ES
4 1 and Taiwan’s needless exclusion from global health 2 cooperation increases the dangers presented by glob- 3 al pandemics. 4 (4) Taiwan’s international engagement has 5 faced increased resistance from the PRC. Taiwan 6 was not invited to the 2016 Assembly of the Inter- 7 national Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), despite 8 participating as a guest at the organization’s prior 9 summit in 2013. Taiwan’s requests to participate in 10 the General Assembly of the International Criminal 11 Police Organization (INTERPOL) have also been 12 rejected. In May 2017, PRC delegates disrupted a 13 meeting of the Kimberley Process on conflict dia- 14 monds held in Perth, Australia, until delegates from 15 Taiwan were asked to leave. Since 2016, the Demo- 16 cratic Republic of São Tomé and Prı́ncipe, the Re- 17 public of Panama, the Dominican Republic, Burkina 18 Faso, the Republic of El Salvador, the Solomon Is- 19 lands, and the Republic of Kiribati have terminated 20 longstanding diplomatic relationships with Taiwan 21 and granted diplomatic recognition to the PRC. 22 (5) Congress has established a policy of support 23 for Taiwan’s participation in international bodies 24 that address shared transnational challenges, par- 25 ticularly in the WHO. Congress passed H.R. 1794 † S 812 ES
5 1 in the 106th Congress, H.R. 428 in the 107th Con- 2 gress, and S. 2092 in the 108th Congress to direct 3 the Secretary of State to establish a strategy for, 4 and to report annually to Congress on, efforts to ob- 5 tain observer status for Taiwan at the WHA. Con- 6 gress also passed H.R. 1151 in the 113th Congress, 7 directing the Secretary to report on a strategy to 8 gain observer status for Taiwan at the ICAO Assem- 9 bly, and H.R. 1853 in the 114th Congress, directing 10 the Secretary to report on a strategy to gain ob- 11 server status for Taiwan at the INTERPOL Assem- 12 bly. However, since 2016, Taiwan has not received 13 an invitation to attend any of these events as an ob- 14 server. 15 (b) AUGMENTATION OF REPORT CONCERNING THE 16 PARTICIPATION OF TAIWAN IN THE WORLD HEALTH OR- 17 GANIZATION.— 18 (1) IN GENERAL.—Subsection (c) of section 1 19 of the Act entitled, ‘‘To address the participation of 20 Taiwan in the World Health Organization’’ (Public 21 Law 108–235; 22 U.S.C. 290 note) is amended by 22 adding at the end the following new paragraph: 23 ‘‘(3) An account of the changes and improve- 24 ments the Secretary of State has made to the 25 United States plan to endorse and obtain observer † S 812 ES
6 1 status for Taiwan at the World Health Assembly, 2 following any annual meetings of the World Health 3 Assembly at which Taiwan did not obtain observer 4 status.’’. 5 (2) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made 6 by paragraph (1) shall take effect and apply begin- 7 ning with the first report required under subsection 8 (c) of section 1 of the Act entitled, ‘‘To address the 9 participation of Taiwan in the World Health Organi- 10 zation’’ (Public Law 108–235; 22 U.S.C. 290 note) 11 that is submitted after the date of the enactment of 12 this Act. Passed the Senate August 6 (legislative day, August 5), 2021. Attest: Secretary. † S 812 ES

117TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION S. 812 AN ACT To direct the Secretary of State to develop a strat- egy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, and for other pur- poses.