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U.S. reiterates support for Taiwan's Interpol participation
Publish Date: 2016/10/27
Update Date: 2016/10/27

Washington, Oct. 26 (CNA) The U.S. Department of State reiterated Washington's support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) Wednesday, ahead of the organization's annual assembly next month.

The United States has long opposed measures adopted by international organizations that unilaterally determine the status of the Taiwanese people without their consent, said Grace Choi, spokeswoman for the State Department's East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau.

"As a general matter, we support Taiwan's membership in international organizations where statehood is not a requirement, and support its meaningful participation, as appropriate, in organizations where its membership is not possible," Choi told CNA in an e-mail.

"We remain committed to Taiwan's meaningful participation in organizations like Interpol, the World Health Organization, and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change," she said.

Recognizing that combating cross-border crime is a shared responsibility, the U.S. supports constructive efforts to cooperate and share information to address international crime, and welcomes the contribution of the Taiwanese people, she added.

Taiwan was forced to withdraw from Interpol in 1984 when China joined the organization.

Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill in March requiring the U.S. secretary of state to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in Interpol. The bill was then signed into law by President Barack Obama.

There has been no confirmation that Taiwan will be able to attend the Nov. 7-10 Interpol general assembly in Bali, Indonesia, although Foreign Minister David Lee said in early October that Taiwan would apply to participate.

Lee said Thursday in Taipei that Taiwan cannot be optimistic about its prospects for taking part in the meeting next month.
U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, told CNA Wednesday that the U.S. government should continue to use its influence to persuade other Interpol members to allow Taiwan to take part in the organization.

He also promised to continue efforts to help Taiwan participate in Interpol meetings.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's representative to France, Zhang Ming-zhong, noted that Taiwan is not able to join the I-24/7 global police communications system because it is not a member of Interpol.

Taiwan recognizes the need for the world to work together to counter terrorism, and hopes to share information with other countries to combat cross-border crime, but its efforts to establish a connection with Interpol have so far been unsuccessful, Zhang said.

He said he wrote to the Interpol secretariat in Lyon last year to express Taiwan's willingness to share information about People's Republic of China nationals using counterfeit Republic of China passports within the European Union, but did not receive any response.

A similar outcome ensued when he again wrote to the organization this year to try to share Taiwan's experience in solving an ATM theft spree committed by an international crime ring, according to Zhang. (Ccourtesy of CNA)

Matt Salmon (Photo courtesy of CNA)
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