Medicine
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:44
US Announces Highest-Level Visit to Taiwan in Decades, Risking China Anger
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior US official is to lead a delegation to Taiwan in the highest-level visit since 1979 to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and to “celebrate the shared values” of the two democracies – prompting China to urge the US not to “send the wrong signals to Taiwan secessionists”.

The US Health Secretary, Alex Azar, said he would be the first cabinet member to visit in six years, in the most significant trip there since the US formally cut diplomatic ties decades ago to pursue relations with the Chinese Communist party, according to The Guardian.

Taiwan announced the visit would take place in the coming days.

“Taiwan has been a model of transparency and cooperation in global health during the COVID-19 pandemic and long before it,” said Azar, who is also the chair of the US coronavirus taskforce.

“I look forward to conveying President [Donald] Trump’s support for Taiwan’s global health leadership and underscoring our shared belief that free and democratic societies are the best model for protecting and promoting health,” he added.

Azar will also meet Taiwain’s President, Tsai Ing-wen.

The US delegation’s visit is already fuelling tensions with China, which claims Taiwan as its own and vows it will be brought under control by force if necessary. China’s Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday it firmly opposed official interaction between the US and Taiwan, and it had lodged “stern representations” with the US.

State media reported that China had urged the US “not to send the wrong signals to Taiwan secessionists”.

In May, Beijing expressed “strong indignation” after the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, hailed the “courage and vision” of Tsai upon her re-election. Last year a US visit by Tsai drew “stern representations” from Beijing, which urged Washington not to allow the visit if it wanted “to avoid harming Sino-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.

Shortly after the Chinese Foreign Ministry press conference on Wednesday, Tsai tweeted that she was looking forward to welcoming Azar.

“Your timely visit is another testament to the strong Taiwan-US partnership based on our longstanding friendship & shared values,” she wrote.

While ostensibly focused on the pandemic, the visit comes at the lowest point in US-Sino relations in four decades, with hostilities on multiple fronts including trade, technology, human rights and Hong Kong.

Joining Azar will be the chief medical officer of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Mitch Wolfe, and the retired US ambassador James Moriarty, who now chairs the American Institute in Taiwan. They will “discuss the COVID-19 response, global health, the US-Taiwan partnership, and Taiwan’s role as a reliable global supplier of medical equipment and critical technology”, according to a statement.

The US Department of Health and Human Services announced, “In contrast to authoritarian systems, US and Taiwan societies and economies are uniquely equipped to drive global progress in areas such as medicine and science to help the world tackle emerging threats.”

Taiwan’s virus response is considered to be one of the most successful in the world, while the US continues to report tens of thousands of new cases a day. The US has provided assistance to Taiwan in the form of arms sales, and has an increasing presence in the South China Sea.

On Tuesday, China’s Ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, said the US’s intensifying military activities in the region were raising the risk of a potential confrontation, and denied allegations Beijing was practising intimidation in the South China Sea.

Cui stated that Beijing did not want tensions to escalate further, after retaliatory consulate closures in Houston and Chengdu, and sanctions against government officials.

“I don’t think a new cold war would serve anybody’s interest,” he noted, adding, “Why should we allow history to repeat … when we are faced with so many new challenges?”

Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said it looked forward to welcoming the delegation.

“Taiwan and the US are like-minded partners cooperating closely in combating the coronavirus and promoting freedom, democracy and human rights worldwide,” it added.

The last US cabinet official to visit Taiwan was Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom top
Israel: Streets on Fire as Protest Against COVID-19 Restrictions Hits Bnei Brak

TEHRAN (FNA)- The city of Bnei Brak was hit by a protest of members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. People protested against the coronavirus restrictions and a three-week quarantine recently re-imposed following a surge in cases. [VIDEO]
US: Chicago Protesters Hold Car Caravan, Rally on National Day of Protest Against Racism

TEHRAN (FNA)- Protesters rallied in Chicago on Saturday following a call to action to participate in another national day of protest by The National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. [VIDEO]
US: Riots Return to Portland as Protesters Attack Businesses, Burn Flags, Force Motorists to Pledge Loyalty to BLM

TEHRAN (FNA)- Several hundred people smashed up storefronts, torched American flags and harassed motorists in Portland, Oregon, following a brief lull in nearly nightly riots due to wildfires tearing through the state. [PHOTOS]
Iranian Overhaul Boeing 747 Plane

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian experts succeeded in overhauling a 50-year-old Boeing 747 cargo plane amid the harsh US sanctions against the country. [PHOTOS]
Israel: Several Arrested at Anti-Netanyahu Demo in Jerusalem

TEHRAN (FNA)- Several protesters were seen being arrested at an anti-government rally in Jerusalem. People were seen being detained by the police forces, with a car of a driver who braked abruptly in front of the demonstration earlier, was seen being searched. [VIDEO]
Iran: Ceremony Held to Honor 1mln Iran-Iraq War Veterans

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran held a ceremony to honor over one million Iran-Iraq war veterans on Monday. Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei addressed the event that was held to mark the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Sacred Defense through videoconference and hailed their bravery during the eight years of the Sacred Defense. [PHOTOS]
Germany: People Rally Against Coronavirus Restrictions in Dusseldorf, Berlin

TEHRAN (FNA)- Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Dusseldorf to rally against measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Demonstrators carried placards and banners decrying the restrictions as they marched through central Dusseldorf. Counter-protesters could also be seen along the route of the march, although they were separated from the protesters by police. [VIDEO]
Face Mask, New Wearables in Age of COVID-19

TEHRAN (FNA)- Welcome to the age of COVID-19, Wearing a medical mask is one of the prevention measures that can limit the spread of certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19. However, the use of a mask alone is insufficient to provide an adequate level of protection, and other measures should also be adopted.[PHOTOS]
AEOI Chief: Multilateralism in Danger by US' Destructive Policies

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi underlined the need for the global community to stand against the US bullying, reiterating that ending Washington's destructive behavior is necessary to protect multilateralism.
Leader: Sacred Defense Showed Invading Iran Too Costly

TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that Iran's decisively victorious defense against foreign-backed forces of Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein proved that invading the country is "too costly".
Official: Iran Able to Increase Oil Production to 8.5mln Barrels

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior member of Iran’s Expediency Council (EC) underlined the country’s capability to produce 8.5mln barrels of oil.
Leaked Docs: US Branches of Deutsche Bank Suspected of Facilitating Funds to Daesh in Iraq

TEHRAN (FNA)- Leaked reports revealed that the US branches of Deutsche Bank are suspected of facilitating money transfer to Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) in Iraq at the height of the group's terror campaign.
Iranian FM: Igniters of War Not Able to End It

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif commemorated the Iranians' sacrifices during the 8 years of the Iraqi imposed war in 1980s, warning enemies that they may initiate war against his nation, but won't be the one who finishes it off.
Trump Mocks Journalist Shot by Rubber Bullets During George Floyd Protests, Says It Was A ‘Beautiful Sight’

TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump described the moment police shot an MSNBC reporter with rubber bullets amid protests in May as “a beautiful sight”.
China Air Force Releases Clip Appearing to Show Mock Attack on US Airbase

TEHRAN (FNA)- China's Air Force released a video showing nuclear-capable H-6 bombers carrying out a simulated missile strike, destroying what appears to be the United States airbase on the island of Guam.