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Rep. Kim’s Bipartisan Bill to Allow Taiwan to Rejoin World Health Organization Gains Traction

March 25, 2021

H.R. 1145 Passes Out of Foreign Affairs Committee, Heads to House Floor

Washington, DC – Today, H.R. 1145, a bipartisan bill led by U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39) and Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30) to urge the State Department to help restore Taiwan its observer status at the World Health Organization (WHO), passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee. It now heads to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote.

H.R. 1145 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). From 2009 until 2017, Taiwan had observer status until it was revoked due to pressure from the People’s Republic of China.

“Taiwan is a strong U.S. ally and world global health and security partner, most recently seen through its quick response to COVID-19. Unfortunately, the People’s Republic of China shut out Taiwan from vital collaboration and information sharing with countries 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 thank my Foreign Affairs Committee colleagues for coming together to support my bipartisan bill out of committee today and hope to see this commonsense effort to support Taiwan on the House floor soon,” said Rep. Kim.

“Taiwan has used its public health expertise to respond to the pandemic effectively within its borders. It is clear that Taiwan has vital information to share with the world. Not to mention, Taiwan has donated tens of millions of masks and PPE equipment to other nations in need. I am glad to see this important bill once again pass the Foreign Affairs Committee. It is unacceptable that China continues to shut out Taiwan from the WHO. The State Department must work diligently support Taiwan as it looks to restore its observer status. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the Biden Administration to strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan relationship,” said Rep. Sherman.

“The whole world suffered after the WHO disregarded Taiwan’s early warning about human-to-human transmission of COVID-19. Taiwan has been a champion of global health since long before the current pandemic but has been unfairly excluded from participation in the WHO as part of a larger global effort by the CCP to marginalize our close democratic ally. This bill a sensible and bipartisan way to ensure the State Department is making every effort to promote Taiwan’s WHO participation, and I congratulate Representative Kim for leading it through Committee passage,” said Lead Republican Michael McCaul.

More than 60 bipartisan cosponsors have joined Rep. Kim in support of H.R. 1145, including Rep. Sherman, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (TX-10) and Chair Gregory Meeks (NY-05), as well as House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia Ranking Member Steve Chabot (OH-01) and Chair Ami Bera (CA-07).

Read the text of H.R. 1145 HERE and watch Rep. Kim's remarks during today's markup HERE.