US sends highest-ranking delegation to Taiwan

The US Health department chief, Alex Azar, is making an official visit to Taiwan one of these days. It is the highest visit of an American official in four decades.

Azar met President Tsai Ing-wen, who was re-elected in January due to her hard line against Beijing. The high visit will not do us any good in our relations with China. The relationship has already been damaged by, among other things, the trade war and fighting over the approach to the corona crisis.

In a statement, minister Azar praises precisely Taiwan’s openness and cooperation during the pandemic and before that. “Free and democratic societies are best able to protect and promote health.”

The Chinese State Department has formally objected to Azar’s visit to Taiwan. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province that sooner or later has to return to the direct administration of the Communist Party.

The country is fighting any attempt to give Taiwan an independent status. Few countries therefore recognized Taiwan as an independent state and have no seat at the United Nations.

The United States chose in 1979 to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan and to give preference to their relationship with China. However, the Americans are Taiwanese’s largest arms supplier and main ally on the international stage.

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