US congressmen backs Interpol observer status
A pro-Taiwan member of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday introduced legislation that would promote Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
The legislation, led by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, will require the U.S. president to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in Interpol.
Specifically, it requires an official request for observer status for Taiwan, active urging of member states to assist in the effort, and a status report to Congress, according to a statement released by Salmon.
“Taiwan’s observer status would promote stability and security in the Asia Pacific region and assist Taiwan in protecting the safety of its citizens by combating criminal activity through access to Interpol’s global police communications systems,” Salmon said.
Taiwan used to be a full member of Interpol but was removed in 1984, when the People’s Republic of China successfully applied for membership.
At present, Taiwan relies on secondhand information from the United States and other countries and is unable to share information about criminals with member countries, Salmon noted.
“With the rise in terrorism throughout the globe, not allowing Taiwan independent and easy access to Interpol is an unnecessary and dangerous risk,” he said.
The co-sponsors of the bill include Ed Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Brad Sherman (D-CA).
In a statement, Royce, chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed confidence that the legislation will move through the committee.
He pointed out that Taiwan is the United States’ 10th largest trading partner and a top 20 world economy, which means that a large number of people and goods are transiting through Taiwan every day.
“Visitors to Taiwan and the Taiwanese people deserve access to the safety and law enforcement infrastructure the international community has built through organizations like Interpol,” he said.