U.S. Congressman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) thinks Taiwan should be allowed to join the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), making that Asian country eligible for more of the organization’s safety oversight support. The People’s Republic of China is an established ICAO member state and the latest proposal is controversial because it does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state.
Royce, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sees Taiwan’s membership as a safety issue because of the relative importance of the nation’s Taoyuan International Airport (RCTP) as a major international hub. Royce told the Taipei Times newspaper that the U.S. Congress has passed a bill that requires the U.S. Secretary of State to facilitate Taiwan’s participation in ICAO and that he intends to support that effort. Taiwan (also known as the Republic of China) has been invited as a guest to participate in the 38th ICAO general assembly, which begins in Montreal this week. The move is seen as a significant step forward in Taiwan’s bid, begun in 2009, for more relevant participation in ICAO.