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Rep. Young Kim participates in a House Small Business Committee hearing.

Feb 18, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, DC  U.S. Representatives Young Kim (CA-39) and Brad Sherman (CA-30) today led a bipartisan effort to help Taiwan regain its status as an observer in the World Health Organization (WHO). Taiwan had observer status from 2009 until 2017 when its status was revoked due to pressure from the People’s Republic of China.

Reps. Kim and Sherman introduced a bipartisan bill that would direct the Secretary of State to implement a strategy to restore observer status for Taiwan in the WHO and the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA).  

Taiwan has long been a leader in global health security, collaborating with countries around the world in combating deadly disease outbreaks. Since 1996, Taiwan has invested more than $6 billion in international medical and humanitarian aid efforts in more than 80 countries. During the 2014 Ebola crisis, Taiwan donated $1 million and provided 100,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE). Additionally, Taiwan was one of the first countries to raise the alarm during the initial spread of COVID-19, using its public health expertise to respond to the pandemic effectively within its borders while donating tens of millions of masks and PPE equipment to other nations in need. 

Despite Taiwan’s tremendous contributions, the People’s Republic of China continues to pressure Taiwan and has shut it out of the WHO entirely, prohibiting Taiwan from sharing and receiving vital information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “Taiwan is a strong ally of the U.S. and has been a leader in global health, with a decades-long record of responding effectively to public health crises and helping other nations. By regaining observer status, Taiwan will be able to receive and share up-to-date information with other countries in the WHO during this global pandemic,” said Kim. “It is shameful that China prohibited Taiwan from collaborating with world partners in the WHO. Time and time again, we have seen that giving Taiwan a seat at the table on global health security benefits us all. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill today and hope to see swift action in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I’ll continue to do all I can to strengthen our U.S.-Taiwan relationship and support Taiwan as it looks to restore its observer status.”

“It is outrageous that China continues to shut out Taiwan from the WHO, limiting Taiwan’s access to vital information. The coronavirus pandemic is an international health emergency. Taiwan not only needs the most updated information with regards to the pandemic without delay but also has vital information to share with the world with regards to its successful handling of the virus. I am glad to join as the lead Democrat on this important bill and hope to again see its quick passage out of the Foreign Affairs Committee,” said Sherman.

Reps. Kim and Sherman were joined by House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (TX-10) and Chair Gregory Meeks (NY-05), as well as House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia Lead Republican Steve Chabot (OH-01) and Chair Ami Bera (CA-07), along with over 30 other bipartisan cosponsors. Read the text of the bill HERE.

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