Washington, 10 October 1998
The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a
resolution calling on the Clinton Administration to support Taiwan's
participation in the World Health Organization (WHO).
The resolution, H.CON.RES. 334, won approval by a vote of 418 to
0, one day after its introduction by Gerald B. H. Solomon (R-N.Y.),
chairman of the powerful Rules Committee.
Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the original sponsor of the resolution,
said that the deadly enterovirus epidemic that killed scores of
Taiwan children last summer further illustrated the importance of
Taiwan's membership in the WHO. "Denying Taiwan the knowledge
and expertise of the World Health Organization is a fundamental
violation of its human rights," he said.
Mr. Brown added that the House has acted to "advance our
effort to help Taiwan people obtain first-rate medical care. The
resolution approved today is a good compromise measure, reached with
solid bipartisan support."
The full text of the comments made by Congressmen
Sherrod Brown, Mr.
Gerald Solomon, Mr.
Benjamin Gilman (who serves as
chairman of the House Committee on International relations), Mr.
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Mr.
Tom Lantos (D-CA), Mr.
Howard Berman (D-CA), and Mr.
Danny Davis (D-IL) are given
However, the Resolution contained one glaring inaccuracy: at the
insistence of Congressman Doug Bereuter (R-NE), who serves as chair
of the Asian and Pacific Subcommittee in the House, a phrase was
added at the last minute stating that "...according to the
Constitution of the WHO, Taiwan does not fulfill the criteria for
This phrase is factually incorrect: the Constitution of the WHO
doesn't say anything about Taiwan. In fact Taiwan fulfills all
criteria of a nation state: it has a defined territory, a defined
population, which has worked hard to achieve democracy, and a
democratically-elected government which is fully capable of entering
into international diplomatic relations.
The text of the resolution follows below: