Recognizing Taiwan's National Day

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 21, 2016
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs


Mr. MULVANEY. Mr. Speaker, Monday, October 10, is Taiwan's National Day--also known as Double Ten Day. As the House will not be in session that day, I would like to take this opportunity to offer my early best wishes to the people of Taiwan.

Taiwan is a friend, an ally, and a vital security partner of the United States. As such, it should be able to participate and engage fully in the international community, and in international forums, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Three years ago, I supported legislation--that the President signed into law--directing the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in ICAO. Taiwan was indeed invited to attend as a guest that year. However, the ICAO's 39th Triennial Assembly will be taking place shortly in Montreal, and to date, there has been no indication that Taiwan will be able to participate.

ICAO works to secure the development of civil aviation throughout the world, and as a key aviation hub in East Asia, Taiwan should be an indispensable member of that dialogue. Unfortunately, as of today, it is not.

Up to 58 million people each year enter, leave, or pass through the Taipei Flight Information Region, and Taiwan is connected to over 100 cities around the world with hundreds of air-passenger and air-freight routes.

If an international organization is to set the standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety and security across the globe, then Taiwan must be at the table. Taiwan's absence neither serves Taiwan nor the international community.

Taiwan's invitation to participate in 2013 came virtually at the last minute. I hope we are not kept waiting as long this time and the current leadership of ICAO gives this prompt attention. I call upon my colleagues and the Administration to prioritize Taiwan's observer status at ICAO.

Again, I wish the people of Taiwan a Happy Double Ten Day. I hope we may also celebrate Taiwan's presence at ICAO in Montreal this year.