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The U.S. House of Representatives on April 27 voted 425-0 to pass the U.S. Senate version of a bipartisan bill originally introduced by U.S. Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) that would restore Taiwan’s observer status in the World Health Organization (WHO).  

“I thank my colleagues for coming together in a bipartisan, bicameral manner to send a united message to Taiwan that we value their input in the WHO and that giving them a seat at the table benefits us all,” Rep. Kim said on Wednesday. “A threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere, and I will always be an unwavering voice for global human rights and freedom.” 

The House-approved S. 812 was introduced in March 2021 by U.S. Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). The Senate approved S. 812 in August 2021. The bill now heads to the president to be signed into law.

S. 812 is the identical bill to H.R. 1145, which Rep. Kim sponsored in February 2021 with lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA). The congresswoman’s bill garnered a total of 128 cosponsors.

According to the congressional record bill summary, the measure directs the U.S. State Department to include additional information in its annual reports concerning Taiwan’s participation at the WHO’s World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer. The report shall describe changes and improvements to the State Department’s plan to support Taiwan’s observer status at the WHA, following any meetings at which Taiwan did not participate under such status. China has opposed Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, the summary says.

“Taiwan has proven time and time again to be a trusted ally of the United States and a world leader in global health security. However, they have been blocked by the Chinese government from contributing to vital collaboration with the WHO,” said Rep. Kim. “U.S. support for Taiwan is more important than ever as we see Chinese government officials eye an invasion of Taiwan amid the Russian Federation’s unprovoked war against a free and sovereign Ukraine.”

The Ripon Advance

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