Text: H.R.353 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Referred in Senate (01/23/2019)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 353 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  1st Session
                                H. R. 353



             January 23 (legislative day, January 22), 2019

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


                                 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.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized 
        agency of the United Nations, charged with coordinating health 
        efforts within the United Nations system. The World Health 
        Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of the WHO, which 
        convenes annually in May to set the policies and priorities of 
        the organization. Statehood is not a requirement for attendance 
        at the WHA, and numerous observers, including non-members and 
        non-governmental organizations, attended the most recent WHA in 
        May 2018.
            (2) Taiwan began seeking to participate in the WHO as an 
        observer in 1997. In 2009, with strong support from successive 
        United States Administrations, Congress, and like-minded WHO 
        Member States, and during a period of improved Cross-Strait 
        relations, Taiwan received an invitation to attend the WHA as 
        an observer under the name ``Chinese Taipei''. Taiwan received 
        the same invitation each year until 2016, when following the 
        election of President Tsai-Ing Wen of the Democratic 
        Progressive Party, Taiwan's engagement in the international 
        community began facing increased resistance from the People's 
        Republic of China (PRC). Taiwan's invitation to the 2016 WHA 
        was received late and included new language conditioning 
        Taiwan's participation on the PRC's ``one China principle''. In 
        2017 and 2018, Taiwan did not receive an invitation to the WHA.
            (3) Taiwan remains a model contributor to world health, 
        having provided financial and technical assistance to respond 
        to numerous global health challenges. Taiwan has invested over 
        $6 billion in international medical and humanitarian aid 
        efforts impacting over 80 countries since 1996. In 2014, Taiwan 
        responded to the Ebola crisis by donating $1 million and 
        providing 100,000 sets of personal protective equipment. 
        Through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, the 
        United States and Taiwan have jointly conducted training 
        programs for experts to combat MERS, Dengue Fever, and Zika. 
        These diseases know no borders, and Taiwan's needless exclusion 
        from global health cooperation increases the dangers presented 
        by global pandemics.
            (4) Taiwan's international engagement has faced increased 
        resistance from the PRC. Taiwan was not invited to the 2016 
        Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization 
        (ICAO), despite participating as a guest at the organization's 
        prior summit in 2013. Taiwan's requests to participate in the 
        General Assembly of the International Criminal Police 
        Organization (INTERPOL) have also been rejected. In May 2017, 
        PRC delegates disrupted a meeting of the Kimberley Process on 
        conflict diamonds held in Perth, Australia, until delegates 
        from Taiwan were asked to leave. Since 2016, the Democratic 
        Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, the Republic of Panama, the 
        Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso, and the Republic of El 
        Salvador have terminated longstanding diplomatic relationships 
        with Taiwan and granted diplomatic recognition to the PRC.
            (5) Congress has established a policy of support for 
        Taiwan's participation in international bodies that address 
        shared transnational challenges, particularly in the WHO. 
        Congress passed H.R. 1794 in the 106th Congress, H.R. 428 in 
        the 107th Congress, and S. 2092 in the 108th Congress to direct 
        the Secretary of State to establish a strategy for, and to 
        report annually to Congress on, efforts to obtain observer 
        status for Taiwan at the WHA. Congress also passed H.R. 1151 in 
        the 113th Congress, directing the Secretary to report on a 
        strategy to gain observer status for Taiwan at the ICAO 
        Assembly, and H.R. 1853 in the 114th Congress, directing the 
        Secretary to report on a strategy to gain observer status for 
        Taiwan at the INTERPOL Assembly. However, since 2016 Taiwan has 
        not received an invitation to attend any of these events as an 
    (b) Augmentation of Report Concerning the Participation of Taiwan 
in the World Health Organization.--
            (1) In general.--Subsection (c) of section 1 of Public Law 
        108-235 (118 Stat. 656) is amended by adding at the end the 
        following new paragraph:
            ``(3) An account of the changes and improvements the 
        Secretary of State has made to the United States plan to 
        endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan at the World 
        Health Assembly, following any annual meetings of the World 
        Health Assembly at which Taiwan did not obtain observer 
            (2) Effective date.--The amendment made by paragraph (1) 
        shall take effect and apply beginning with the first report 
        required under subsection (c) of section 1 of Public Law 108-
        235 that is submitted after the date of the enactment of this 

            Passed the House of Representatives January 22, 2019.


                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,


Share This