French senators have sponsored a bill that seeks to impress upon the French government the benefits of supporting the inclusion of Taiwan in international bodies.
The sponsors included French senators Joel Guerriau and Alain Richard, both of whom serve on the France-Taiwan Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association.
Richard, who led delegations to Taiwan in 2015 and 2018, earlier this month was pressured by Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye (盧沙野) to cancel a proposed trip to Taiwan, after Lu sent Richard a letter saying that the trip would “affect the ‘status quo’ between Taipei and Beijing.”
The bill, if passed, would lead to increased French support for Taiwan’s inclusion in international bodies such as the WHO, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Criminal Police Organization.
The bill references the “Taiwan model” of combating COVID-19, which has proved successful because Taiwan, with a population equivalent to that of Australia, has not had to lock down cities and has only recorded 10 deaths.
Despite Taiwan’s warning as early as Dec. 31, 2019, that the coronavirus had the potential for person-to-person transmission, the WHO had ignored the warning and did not consider the disease an international health crisis until the end of January last year, the bill says.
The exclusion of Taiwan from the WHO has been proven to be against the interests of the international community, especially when the WHO has channels to allow the participation of political entities not considered nations, it says.
International bodies, including the World Health Assembly (WHA) and the ICAO, provided ways for Taiwan to participate in both organizations from 2009 to 2016 without changing the “status quo” of cross-strait relations, the bill says.
It also says that Taiwan’s inclusion in international bodies would be a boon for the international community, as its GDP, on a par with that of Sweden, makes it one of the top Asian economies.
Enabling Taiwan’s participation in international bodies, using the model adopted by the WHA and ICAO from 2009 to 2016, should become a pillar of French diplomatic policy, the bill concludes.
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