TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) tri-annual conference opened in Montreal, Canada on Tuesday (Sept. 24).
In response to Taiwan’s exclusion from the ICAO and the 2019 conference, a bipartisan group of 41 members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The letter protested Taiwan’s exclusion and called out China’s excessive and selfish influence over the ICAO organization, which endangers public safety for millions of airline passengers annually.
The group of legislators was led and organized by Representative Steve Chabot from Ohio, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus. On the day the ICAO conference opened, he shared the following message on Twitter.
I led a bipartisan group of 41 Members in sending a letter to @SecPompeo and @SecElaineChao to encourage them to advocate for Taiwan’s participation in the 40th Session of the Assembly of @icao. Read the full letter here: pic.twitter.com/kjjyyzBChy— Rep. Steve Chabot (@RepSteveChabot) September 24, 2019
The letter, which can be read here, briefly examines Taiwan’s active role in the regional and global aviation industry. It notes that Beijing’s influence at the ICAO and its “self-serving foreign policy deprives the international community of Taiwan’s contribution” while also potentially endangering the many passengers that pass through Taiwan’s airports every year.
The lawmakers emphasize and endorse a statement issued by foreign ministers at the most recent G7 Summit, which called for all partners involved in the aviation industry to participate in relevant ICAO forums. The statement was as follows.
“We support the substantive participation of all active members of the international aviation community in ICAO forums. Excluding some of its members for political purposes compromises aviation safety and security.”
The letter closes with the lawmakers declaring that “We believe that the United States and like minded countries should work to make (Taiwan’s participation in ICAO) a reality.”