US senators sponsor bill to seek Taiwan’s inclusion in ICAO – Focus Taiwan

Washington, Sept. 29 (CNA) U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Thursday introduced a bill to Congress aimed at facilitating Taiwan’s efforts to participate in the United Nations. international civil aviation. (ICAO).

The bill, titled Ensuring Taiwan Aviation and Safety Act of 2022, requires the US Secretary of State to regularly submit “an unclassified report” to Congress detailing the US government’s efforts and plans to “ensure the meaningful participation of Taiwan at ICAO, including the ICAO Triennial”. assembly sessions, conferences, technical working groups, meetings, activities and mechanisms.”

Under the bill, the US Secretary of State is authorized to develop a strategy to secure Taiwan’s meaningful participation in ICAO and direct the US envoy to the UN specialized agency to use his “voice and his vote” to achieve this objective.

The US envoy should also “seek a vote at the next session of the ICAO Triennial Assembly on the issue of Taiwan’s participation in that session”, according to the proposal.

The 41st edition of the ICAO triennial assembly is being held from September 27 to October 7 at the agency’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada, to which Taiwan is not invited.

In a press release on Thursday, Cruz said ICAO cannot successfully pursue its mission of ensuring aviation safety by excluding Taiwan.

“This exclusion, and the fact that it resulted from submission to political pressure from the Chinese Communist Party, directly jeopardizes the credibility of ICAO as a multilateral organization,” Cruz said.

Merkley, meanwhile, pointed out that Taiwan is home to Asia’s fifth-largest airport and plays a major role in global aviation.

“Taiwan’s meaningful participation in ICAO will allow the organization to do its job better,” Merkley said. “The United States should use its voice and vote to support Taiwan’s inclusion in ICAO.”

In response, the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Friday (Taipei time) that China’s recent “acts of military provocations” in the seas and airspace around Taiwan had “seriously affected the international air traffic”.

MOFA stressed the need for Taiwan to be included in ICAO to ensure the safety of global civil aviation operations while calling on the UN agency to allow Taiwan’s participation.

Taiwan, officially named the Republic of China, has not been a member of the UN since losing its seat to the People’s Republic of China in 1971 and is therefore not a member of ICAO.

Taiwan last attended the ICAO triennial event as a guest of the UN agency’s council chairman in 2013 amid warming ties between Taiwan and China under the former Taiwanese administration of the Kuomintang (KMT).

However, Taiwan was not invited to subsequent ICAO assemblies after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the pro-independence Democratic Party took office in 2016, when Taipei’s relations with Beijing began to deteriorate. deteriorate.

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