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U.S. Secretary of Health Azar Makes Provocative Visit to Taipei To Promote ‘U.S.-Taiwan Partnership’

Aug. 5, 2020 (EIRNS)—Yesterday’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement that Health Secretary Alex Azar will lead a delegation to Taiwan “in the coming days” made no bones that the trip is designed as a deliberate provocation to China, and any beneficial health discussions that may come out of it is a side issue. HHS highlighted that Azar will be the first U.S. Cabinet member to visit Taiwan in six years, and will be “the highest-level visit by a U.S. Cabinet official since 1979.... Azar’s historic visit will strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan partnership,” it asserted. On his agenda is a meeting with independence-advocating President Tsai Ing-wen.

Azar is quoted calling Taiwan “a model of transparency and cooperation in global health during the COVID-19 pandemic and long before it.” He announced that he will be “conveying President 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.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin warned today that such acts threaten the very basis of U.S.-Chinese relations. “The Taiwan question is one of utmost importance, with the highest level of sensitivity” for the China-U.S. relationship, whose political foundation is the One China principle, he reminded. The U.S. should stop such official interactions with Taiwan, which “send wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ elements,” if it wishes “to avoid severe damage to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

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