WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were joined today by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in introducing new legislation authorizing the United States’ endorsement of and work to secure Taiwan’s admission to the Inter-American Development Bank as a non-borrowing member, a promotion from its present observer status. In the face of increasing aggression from the government of the People’s Republic of China, which has for decades coerced the international community into denying Taiwan’s rightful participation in various multilateral fora, the bipartisan bill reaffirms the U.S.’ full support for Taipei’s broader international engagement.
By requiring that the State Department provide Congress with the Administration’s strategy to secure diplomatic support for Taiwan’s membership, the legislation builds upon recent Senate-passed legislation to direct the State Department to develop a strategy to assist Taiwan in obtaining observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization.
“Taiwan, a fellow democracy and free market economy, significantly contributes to the growth and development of Latin American and Caribbean economies,” said Ranking Member Risch. “Inclusion of Taiwan in the Inter-American Development Bank would bring tangible benefits to both the bank and to the region it serves.”
“Despite Beijing’s reckless and hostile tactics to deny it participation on the world stage, Taiwan has proven a formative and effective partner across the Western Hemisphere,” said Chairman Menendez. “As a model sponsor of foreign aid, Taiwan has remained consistently committed to bolstering diplomatic bonds and generous in its financial support, which has buoyed food security, natural disaster preparedness, and economic development efforts throughout the region. I am proud to be joined by my colleagues to recognize Taiwan’s critical contributions to safeguarding the stability, security, and prosperity of Latin America and the Caribbean, and its definitive worthiness to serve as a member of the IDB, the preeminent development bank in our hemisphere. We are committed to continue working to ensure the United States does everything in its power to champion Taiwan’s international engagement and demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the people of Taiwan.”
“Through humanitarian aid and long-standing commercial relationships, Taiwan has demonstrated that it can play an important role in the Western Hemisphere,” said Kaine. “Taiwan’s membership in the Inter-American Development Bank would help channel more resources toward much-needed economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean, while further strengthening diplomatic and trade ties between Taiwan and nations in the region.”
“I am glad to join Sen. Menendez and Sen. Risch to introduce a bill to secure Taiwan’s membership in the Inter-American Development Bank—they have more than earned it,” said Inhofe. “China’s continued diplomatic bullying of Taiwan is unacceptable and, as a strong contributor to Latin America’s economy, Taiwan deserves a seat at the table. This legislation would build on our calls for the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for Taiwan to regain observer status in the World Health Organization. The Biden administration needs to make Taiwan’s participation in international organizations a priority.”
“Latin America and the Caribbean need increased capital to combat the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic more than ever before. Taiwan stands as a strong democratic and economic partner willing and able to join these crucial efforts,” said Markey. “Participation in the IDB is just one of the many areas in which Taiwan can contribute fruitfully to a safer and more prosperous international community. I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the global community.”
“Supporting Taiwan’s admission to the Inter-American Development Bank, the main multilateral development bank in the Americas, sends an important signal to the nations that recognize Taiwan’s tremendous contributions in support of democracies in the Western Hemisphere,” said Rubio. “I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan initiative, which will help counter the Chinese Community Party’s debt-trap policies and malign political influence in our hemisphere.”
A copy of the legislation can be found here.