Seventy-one US representatives signed a joint letter urging US President Joe Biden’s administration to assist Taiwan’s bid to join the International Criminal Police Organization and participate as an observer in the Interpol General Assembly next week.
The letter, based on a bipartisan initiative by US representatives John Curtis, Michael Guest and Gerry Connolly, was sent to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Interpol Washington Director Michael Hughes on Tuesday last week.
A news release issued on Thursday by Curtis’ office cited the letter as saying that by participating in Interpol, Taiwan could work with the US and other international allies to fight corruption and abuse of the Interpol system.
“Taiwan’s lack of participation leaves a void in global crime-fighting efforts,” the lawmakers wrote.
Taiwan must obtain second-hand information from friendly nations, and is unable to effectively share information about criminals and suspicious activity with the international community, they said.
The letter also highlighted laws that require Washington to develop strategies to assist Taiwan’s efforts to participate in Interpol, as well as other international organizations.
These include a bill signed into law by then-US president Barack Obama on March 18, 2016, and the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act, which was signed into law by then-US president Donald Trump on March 26 last year.
The “legislation clearly demonstrates congressional intent to support strategies to gain meaningful Interpol participation, and ultimately membership, for Taiwan,” the representatives wrote.
Curtis’ news release said: “This administration needs to fulfill the intent laws passed by Congress, counter China’s influence and make a strong push for Taiwan’s participation in Interpol ahead of the general assembly meeting later this month.”
Taiwan joined Interpol in 1961 using its formal name, the Republic of China, but was forced to withdraw when the People’s Republic of China joined the organization in 1984. Interpol has since denied Taiwan’s requests to participate, citing a resolution at its 53rd General Assembly that accepted China as a member.
This year’s general assembly is to take place from Tuesday to Thursday in Istanbul, Turkey.
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