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US bill calls for Taiwan's inclusion in UN

US Strategic Competition Act calls for Taiwan's participation in UN, WHA, ICAO, and INTERPOL

Banner supporting U.N. membership for Taiwan on Taipei Main Station in 2008. 

Banner supporting U.N. membership for Taiwan on Taipei Main Station in 2008.  (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A bill designed to counter China's aggression includes sections calling for Taiwan's participation in the United Nations as well as three other major international organizations.

On Thursday, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) announced that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he chairs, will on April 14 vote on a proposed bill titled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021. Although the bill mainly focuses on ways to counter China's "aggressive and assertive behavior" and human rights abuses, it is replete with references to Taiwan, mentioning the country 46 times.

Nestled within item 7 of under a section concerning the enhancement of the U.S.-Taiwan partnership is a call for the U.S. to champion Taiwan's "meaningful participation in the United Nations. It also stipulates that the U.S. should back Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), among other global bodies.

In addition, under item 7 of a section delineating steps to advance U.S. leadership in the United Nations, the bill calls for the promotion of the "participation and inclusion of Taiwan in the United Nations System."

Taiwan was a founding member of the U.N. in 1949 but was replaced by China in 1971 after Beijing was admitted as a member. The country was subsequently removed from all U.N. organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), in 1972.

In 1971, U.N. Resolution 2758 excluded Taiwan under the premise that China is "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations." In 2007, the U.N. rejected Taiwan's bid to "join the U.N. under the name of Taiwan," as the body continued to cling to the notion that "Taiwan is part of China."

The current draft of the bill calls on the U.S. to fortify its obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act and "Six Assurances," but it still maintains these measures must adhere to Washington's "one-China" policy. Given that Taiwan's exclusion from the U.N. is currently predicated on the notion of "one China," it is not yet clear whether U.S. efforts to include Taiwan in the organization would result in a change in its interpretation of the "one-China" policy.

Updated : 2021-04-20 21:50 GMT+08:00