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U.S. House bill lends support to Taiwan's Interpol participation

U.S. House bill lends support to Taiwan's Interpol participation

Washington, Nov. 2 (CNA) The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill on Monday in support of Taiwan's participation in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). The bill, which was passed by a vote of 392-0, was introduced in April by Reps. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Ed Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Brad Sherman (D-CA). Before the bill -- H.R. 1853 -- was referred to the full floor for a vote, it had already received bipartisan support and the endorsement of 114 representatives. The legislation will now move the U.S Senate for screening and approval before it comes into effect. The bill directs President Barack Obama to "develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in Interpol" and "instruct Interpol Washington to officially request observer status for Taiwan in Interpol and to actively urge Interpol member states to support such observer status and participation for Taiwan." The president is also required within 30 days after enactment of the bill to present to Congress a report describing the U.S.'s strategy to endorse and obtain observer status for Taiwan in Interpol and other related meetings and activities. This was the latest initiative by the U.S. Congress to urge the Obama administration to support Taiwan's joining of international organizations. It has previously pushed for U.S. support of Taiwan's bids to participate in the World Health Assembly and International Civil Aviation Organization. Upon learning the news, Taiwan's Representative Office in Washington expressed its appreciation. The office said that after continued communications with the United States, the U.S. Congress has realized that Taiwan's participation in the organization and the sharing of criminal information would help fight human and gun trafficking, cross-border crimes and international terrorism. Taiwan was a full member of Interpol starting in 1964 through its National Police Administration, but lost its membership in 1984, when the People's Republic of China applied to join the organization. This has prevented Taiwan from gaining access to Interpol's I24/7 global police communications system that provides real-time information on criminals and global criminal activities, leaving Taiwan dependent on secondhand information from friendly nations. In its 1994 Taiwan Policy Review, the U.S. declared its intention to support Taiwan's participation in appropriate international organizations and has consistently reiterated that support. (By Rita Cheng, Tony Liao and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-20 07:47 GMT+08:00