Today, Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03), Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-02), and 44 other Members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg urging the Biden Administration to prioritize Taiwan in the Administration’s East Asia strategy and, specifically, to address the exclusion of Taiwan from a United Nations (UN) organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The ICAO oversees air traffic cooperation of 193 national governments, but Taiwan remains excluded from the group despite being home to the eleventh largest airport in the world. By joining the ICAO, Taiwan would gain access to important resources in international aviation, and the UN would gain another valuable partner at ICAO, which would further the UN goal of international cooperation.
Taiwan’s entrance into the ICAO would also deter Chinese aggression in the region. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has targeted Taiwanese independence as a threat and continues to seek to undermine Taiwan’s autonomy. In the month of January, the CCP conducted almost daily incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, including by aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Admission into the ICAO would help counteract the anti-democratic actions and intentions of the CCP against the people of Taiwan.
The letter calls for bipartisan support of Taiwan’s entrance into the ICAO:
We urge you to continue to fully support Taiwan and uphold the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act as you craft the Administration’s East Asia strategy. Specifically, we are concerned about the continued exclusion of Taiwan from the International Civil Aviation Organization… It is critical that we continue to publicly work with Taiwan and our other allies across the globe in combatting CCP influence in the region and international community, as well as continuing to build our diplomatic and defensive relationships. We are ready to work with your departments to see Taiwan included in the ICAO and the WHO, as well as to build on previous work to ease restrictions that allow us to increase our diplomatic missions to Taiwan. Lastly, we encourage you to continue to work to implement the Taiwan Relations Act and similar legislation related to Taiwan. These steps will reinforce the strength of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship and promote further cooperation between Taiwan and our other allies in the region. We stand ready to work with you on this effort and look forward to protecting the autonomy of a free, democratic Taiwan.
In addition to Guest, the Members of Congress joining the letter are:
Rep. Tim Burchett (TN-02); Rep. Scott Perry (PA-10); Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04); Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27); Rep. Lisa McClain (MI-10); Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05); Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02); Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI-06); Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13); Rep. David Rouzer (NC-07); Rep. Yvette Herrell (NM-02); Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-22); Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01); Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17); Rep. Stephanie Bice (OK-05); Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36); Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-05); Rep. Madison Cawthorn (NC-11); Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13); Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02); Rep. William R. Timmons, IV (SC-04); Rep. Bob Good (VA-05); Rep. Troy Balderson (OH-12); Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-17); Rep. Ron Estes (KS-04); Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04); Rep. Brian Mast (FL-18); Rep. Nancy Mace (SC-01);Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08); Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05); Rep. Greg Pence (IN-06); Rep. Jake LaTurner (KS-02); Rep. Peter Meijer (MI-03); Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01); Rep. Andrew R. Garbarino (NY-02); Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (IA-02); Rep. Julia Letlow (LA-05); Rep. Ronny L. Jackson (TX-13); Rep. Scott Franklin (FL-15); Rep. Bryan Steil (WI-01); Rep. Don Young (AK-At large); Rep. Young Kim (CA-39); Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-08); Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03); Rep. Trent Kelly (MS-01).