A group of senators introduced a bill on Wednesday to integrate Taiwan into the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The initiative specifically proposes that Taiwan become a non-borrowing member of the IDB, the same category as the United States, Japan and Spain, and an upgrade from its current observer status.
The initiative was pushed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, a Democrat, and is intended to support Taiwan’s aspirations to join international forums in the face of opposition from China.
“Despite Beijing’s reckless and hostile tactics to deny its participation on the world stage, Taiwan has proven to be an effective ally,” Menendez said, according to a statement.
The Senate already passed legislation in August this year urging Joe Biden’s administration to help Taiwan obtain observer state status in the World Health Assembly (WHA), the executive body of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Biden administration has backed some of Taiwan’s aspirations to join international forums. Just this week, for example, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, urged the rest of the world to support Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations system.
Blinken made the remarks on the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China’s membership in the UN, which at the time meant that Taiwan had been out of the UN system and other partner agencies, since 1971, in the face of Chinese pressure.
The IDB, created in 1959, is the main international financial organization for Latin America and the Caribbean. It is composed of 48 members, of which 26 are eligible for loans while the rest are considered “non-borrowers”, the category to which Taiwan would aspire.
Biden has made it clear that Washington remains committed to its “one China” policy, under which the United States recognizes Beijing’s sovereign authority over Chinese territory, including Taiwan.
Although the United States maintains that Beijing is the legitimate government of the Chinese people, it maintains strong ties with Taiwan, supplying it with defense equipment.