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James Carafano: China used Minister Azar’s visit to Taiwan to test the US


James Carafano is the director of the Douglas & Sarah Allison Foreign Policy Research Center and the Vice President of the Kathryn & Shelby Cullom Davis International Research Institute at the Heritage Foundation. Originally published in the Comments section of Fox News.

Taiwan Thai Anh Van on the morning of August 10.
US Health Minister Alex Azar met with Taiwanese President Thai Anh Van on the morning of August 10. (Photo: CNA)

I believe in random things, but I don’t believe Beijing.

So when the Chinese jets arrived to challenge Taiwan’s airspace the same day as the official visit by US Health Secretary Alex Azar, I doubted it was a coincidence. That is Beijing’s kind of message.

The American response should be “NO way!” We should stress more than our commitment to support the freedom and security of the people of Taiwan and expand our efforts to ensure the shared prosperity of our people.

The Trump administration recently made a wise move by agreeing to send a high-ranking cabinet official to visit Taipei. This is the third time in 20 years that an American President has dared to poke the wrath of Beijing like that. This move has put Beijing on guard.

Communist China never wants to see other countries treat Taiwan with the respect and reciprocity they deserve, the United States – the world’s largest superpower doing so will make Beijing even hotter. eye. Historically, China has constantly pressed to undermine international recognition of Taiwan, used pressure and seduction to disrupt the island nation’s diplomatic relations and attempted to ban Taiwan. North joins international forums and organizations. China, for example, has prevented Taiwan from participating in the World Health Organization meaningful and beneficial for the world. In the context of the widespread Covid-19, this prohibition has certainly caused the world not to fully and quickly access Taiwan’s professional medical system and willingness to support, where has proven to be top effective anti-epidemic.

This week, Health Minister Alex Azar led a delegation to Taipei to discuss anti-epidemic work. According to Azar, the trip represents “a strong Taiwan-US partnership on health and medical security, one of the many facets of our comprehensive friendship.” The visit not only reaffirms the seriousness of the Trump administration’s commitment to building an effective anti-corona virus campaign globally, but also shows that the United States will not be intimidated by scams. bully of Beijing.

This is a better time for the US to strengthen support for a free, safe and prosperous Taiwan. While Mr. Azar is in Taiwan, Beijing is busy with increasing the grip that restrains Hong Kongers. Under the new National Security Law passed by Beijing, authorities detained Jimmy Lai, a prominent Hong Kong advocate for democracy, his colleagues and family.

The rapid enslavement of China’s political freedom in Hong Kong has surprised people. Within a few months, Beijing abolished all its commitments to the people of Hong Kong when Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.

There is only one simple reason why China chooses to bully Hong Kong: because they can. A bully is always targeting the person least likely to fight back.

Without a doubt, Beijing hopes the crackdown on Hong Kong will threaten Taiwan. The CCP wants nothing more than to make Taipei afraid to bow to Beijing’s every demands.

But as a free and independent people, Taiwanese will not be pressured easily. Beijing needs to learn that the free world will only accept its threat to a certain extent. By acting in support of Taiwan, the US sent a message that denied Beijing’s expectations that its bullying would be effective.

Now is the time for the US administration to take on its initiatives. As soon as possible, we should declare our intention to enter into a free trade agreement with Taiwan. In addition to sending signals to Beijing, it also benefits both our economies. If the Trump administration believes that Taiwan needs to remove some of the economic barriers for the United States first, at least Washington should commit to holding free trade talks as soon as these barriers are removed.

Taiwan is a real democracy, they need such assurance in order to solve the thorny trade problem.

Other countries may also participate in supporting Taiwan. There should be an international coalition that pressures WHO to immediately allow Taiwan to participate in its work and procedures. Other countries should also join the US-led effort to allow Taiwan to join other international organizations.

A strong US-Taiwan relationship is the first and strongest step the US can take to enhance peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. The sooner Beijing learns the limits of its stable destructive actions, the sooner we can learn to live together in an area where cooperation rather than confrontation is the norm.

Translated by Duc Tri

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