U.S. lawmakers urge international support for Taiwan to join WHO as U.S. criticizes China

Date: May 9, 2020
By: Patricia Zengerle

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., left, and ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, talk during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. Engel and McCaul are among the lawmakers who signed a letter urging Taiwan be accepted in the World Health Organization (WHO).

The leaders of U.S. congressional foreign affairs committees wrote to nearly 60 countries on Friday asking them to support Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization, citing the need for the broadest effort possible to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Taiwan, which is not a member of the United Nations, has been excluded from the WHO, which is a U.N. agency, due to objections from China.

“As the world works to combat the spread of the COVID-19, a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, it has never been more important to ensure all countries prioritize global health and safety over politics,” the lawmakers said in their letter, sent on Friday and first reported by Reuters.

It was signed by Representatives Eliot Engel, Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Michael McCaul, the panel’s ranking Republican member, as well as Senators Jim Risch, the Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, and Bob Menendez, the panel’s ranking Democratic member.

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