Washington, 10 October 1998
Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Concurrent
Resolution 334, Relating to Taiwan's Participation in the World
I congratulate Mr. Sherrod Brown for the intense efforts he has
made to bring this resolution before the House. House Concurrent
Resolution 334 is a substitute resolution to House Joint Resolution
126, which Mr. Brown had introduced earlier and which I was a
This resolution calls attention to what I think we would all
consider a basic human right, that is the right of every citizen to
good health and access to the highest standards of health
information and services. Denying a country of 21 million people to
such international institutions as the World Health Organization
should embarrass the member states of the United Nations who insist
on keeping those doors shut to the Taiwanese people.
But I think this resolution points up an even more egregious
mistake by the international community. The fundamental issue is not
whether or not Taiwan should be a member of the World Health
Organization. The issue is whether or not the international
community should exclude a country like Taiwan from membership in
any international organizations. We have a situation today in which
pariah nations such as North Korea, Iraq, and Burma are members of
the United Nations and actively participate--mostly in a negative
fashion in terms of American interests--in all the activities of the
United Nations and its specialized agencies. Whereas Taiwan which is
democratic, with a free market economy, and with the third largest
foreign exchange reserves in the world is unable to participate in
almost every international organization.
There is something out of balance here that needs to be rectified.
The Clinton administration in 1994 Taiwan Policy Review vowed to
seek Taiwanese membership in "appropriate" international
organizations. So far, no "appropriate" organizations have
been found. I would urge the administration to intensify its search.
I think there are such organizations readily at hand in this city:
the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
We are in the midst of a world economic crisis. Some respected
economists even paint the dismal picture of an imminent world
depression. The devastating effects of economic collapse are already
apparent in the developing country and they are spreading to other
states. The world's economy is sick. With foreign exchange reserves
totaling $88 billion, Taiwan has some of the medicine which can help
the rest of the world recover. We should be seeking for ways to help
Taiwan contribute to the well-being of the international community,
not finding ways to exclude Taiwan.
I am proud to be a cosponsor of the original resolution and, as
ranking member of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee of the
International Relations Committee, I urge my colleagues to support
the one before us today.