President Joe Biden signed into law S.812, the Senate version of H.R. 1145, a bipartisan bill led by U.S. Representatives Young Kim (CA-39) and Brad Sherman (CA-30) to restore Taiwan’s observer status in the World Health Organization.
This bipartisan, bicameral initiative 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 From 2009 until 2017, Taiwan had observer status until it was revoked due to pressure from the People’s Republic of China.
“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. Taiwan has proven time and time again to be a trusted ally of the United States and a world leader in global health security, and today we can officially send a united message that the United States values Taiwan’s input and will work to give them a seat at the table,” said Kim. “A threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere, and while this is an exciting step forward, the fight is not over. I will always be an unwavering voice for global human rights and freedom.”
“Pleased to see President Biden sign this vital, bipartisan bill into law, sending a resounding message against efforts to isolate Taiwan from the international community and international organizations,” said Sherman. “Whether it’s the World Health Organization, the U.N. climate change convention, or Interpol, we must continue fighting for Taiwan to have a voice in all international organizations, especially as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. The signing of H.R.1145 into law is a significant step in this fight for our democratic ally.”
H.R. 1145 has nearly 130 cosponsors including House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (TX-10), Chair Gregory Meeks (NY-05), as well as Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Chabot (OH-01) and Chair Ami Bera (CA-07). The bill passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee in March 2021.