Senator Sherrod Brown Calls For Taiwan’s Full WHO Membership After H7N9 Deaths In Hong Kong

In light of the recent deaths of two Hong Kong citizens who were infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus after visiting Shenzhen, long-time friend of Taiwan Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dated February 6, 2014 calling for full WHO membership for Taiwan.

Senator Brown wrote: “Taiwan’s exclusion not only creates a dangerous gap in the exchange of information between countries, but puts global health monitoring and security at risk due to Taiwan’s proximity to China during this time of virulent outbreak.”

He added: “In April 2002, President Bush signed Public Law No. 107-10, which included a clause mandating the Secretary of State to endorse “meaningful participation” for Taiwan in the World Health Assembly (WHA). Regrettably, very little progress has been made since that time, and seen in the observer status.”

The Senator concluded: “As global health threats emerge, the public health of our nation increasingly depends on cooperation and communication between every nation. It is in America’s best interest to ensure that Taiwan is a full member of the WHO.”

FAPA President Mark Kao, Ph.D. states: “Taiwan’s participation in the annual weeklong WHA meeting as an observer, and not a WHO full member, is a pyrrhic victory with limited benefits. The bottom line is that China continues to play politics with the lives of the people of Taiwan by blocking Taiwan’s full access to the WHO.”

Dr. Kao concludes: “Taiwan’s membership in the WHO is not only in the interest of the people of Taiwan, it is of critical importance to the rest of the world as well. What if someone carrying the H7N9 virus gets on a plane in Taiwan and disembarks in any other country? The world can no longer afford to let Taiwan be the missing health link in the chain of Pacific Rim countries.”

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February 6, 2014

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

I am writing to encourage the Administration to honor our nation’s commitment to Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization (WHO).

Public health threats, like the recent outbreak of the H7N9 virus in Hong Kong, are not constrained by national boundaries. WHO has already declared that H7N9 outbreak in China is believed to be more lethal than previous outbreaks of H5N1.  Hong Kong has started to cull more than 20,000 chickens and China has halted its poultry trade and the Chinese government has confirmed the first human death from a new bird flu virus.

Taiwan continues to be relegated to an observer status in the WHO.  Taiwan’s exclusion not only creates a dangerous gap in the exchange of information between countries, but puts global health monitoring and security at risk due to Taiwan’s proximity to China during this time of virulent outbreak.  Because of this misguided policy, Taiwanese expertise in medical and biological threats are not available for the global good.

In April 2002, President Bush signed Public Law No. 107-10, which included a clause mandating the Secretary of State to endorse “meaningful participation” for Taiwan in the World Health Assembly (WHA). Regrettably, very little progress has been made since that time, and seen in the observer status.

As global health threats emerge, the public health of our nation increasingly depends on cooperation and communication between every nation.  It is in America’s best interest to ensure that Taiwan is a full member of the WHO.

I look forward to working with you on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

香港爆發感染H7N9死亡案例後布朗議員呼籲支持台灣加入世界衛生組織

香港爆發兩民眾行訪深圳感染H7N9禽流感死亡案例後,長期友台的俄亥俄州民主黨參議員布朗(Sherrod Brown)於26日致函美國國務卿凱瑞,呼籲支持台灣加入世界衛生組織成為正式會員。

布朗議員寫道:「將地理位置靠近中國的台灣排除於世衛之外,不只在國際資訊交換面上留下一個危險的漏洞,也在這一波流感危機中,將全球的衛生監控與安全置於風險中。」

他並表示:「布希總統於2002年曾簽署107-10號公共法,其中的一項法條賦予國務院『支持台灣有意義參與世界衛生大會』的責任。遺憾的是,從那以後,這項任務並未有太多進展。」

布朗議員總結道:「在新一波疫情崛起的同時,美國人民的健康,仰賴世界各國共同合作;支持台灣加入世界衛生組織符合美國的最大利益。」

台灣人公共事務會會長高龍榮博士表示:「台灣以觀察員而非世衛的正式會員身份參與為期一週的世界衛生大會,表面上是一項勝利,但其代價卻非常高昂,而效益卻極低。最關鍵的仍是中國使弄政治操作阻止台灣獲得世衛所提供的資訊等手法,持續擺弄台灣人民的健康和性命。」

高博士總結:「台灣成為世衛正式會員不只是台灣人的權益,對於世界更是至關重要。若有台灣人感染了H7N9後旅遊至其他國家,怎麼辦?世界各國不能再任由台灣繼續被排擠於環太平洋諸國之外,成為衛生保健網的漏洞。」

(February 12, 2014) Senator Sherrod Brown Calls For Taiwan’s Full WHO Membership After H7N9 Deaths In Hong Kong / 香港爆發感染H7N9死亡案例後布朗議員呼籲支持台灣加入世界衛生組織