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US House committee passes Taiwan International Solidarity Act

'23 million people deserve to have their independence': Representative Joe Wilson

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US House committee passes Taiwan International Solidarity Act

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A U.S. House of Representatives committee on Tuesday (May 16) passed the Taiwan International Solidarity Act to counter Chinese interference in Taiwan's participation in international organizations.

It emphasizes that UNGA Resolution 2758 only deals with the issue of China's representation and does not involve Taiwan's participation in the U.N. and related organizations.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee also deliberated on the Taiwan International Solidarity Act. The bill will amend the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act (TAIPEI Act), which came into effect in March 2020.

It counters China's efforts to hinder Taiwan's participation in international organizations and clarify that U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2758 does not apply to Taiwan's participation in the UN.

Republican Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Gregory Meeks, the ranking member from the Democratic Party, have publicly supported the bill. McCaul criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for claiming the resolution prohibits Taiwan from having a voice at the U.N., when, in fact, it only designates the People's Republic of China as having the China seat at the organization, rather than the Republic of China (Taiwan).

McCaul said the act would direct the U.S. to use its influence to resist CCP propaganda in international organizations and promote Taiwan's participation in such organizations. He pointed out that during his recent trip to Taiwan, he witnessed aggressive military action taken by China in the form of military aircraft sorties and naval vessels around the country.

He noted that Meeks had a similar experience when he visited Taiwan with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year. McCaul then took a defiant stance and said, "But we won't let that intimidate us, we will stand with Taiwan."

Republican Representative Joe Wilson said that this bill is "in favor of freedom and independence for Taiwan, 23 million people deserve to have their independence." Meeks said the bill will strengthen the TAIPEI Act, counter China's attempts to undermine its participation on the world stage, bolster U.S. ties with Taiwan, and support Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations.

With bipartisan support, the bill passed without objection and will then be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The approval of the bill occurs on the eve of the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA), which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from May 20-31. Due to pressure from China, Taiwan has not been invited to attend the meeting for six consecutive years, and has not yet received an invitation letter this year.