U.S. praises Taiwan’s coronavirus strategy in highest-level visit since 1979
Azar’s three-day visit was prompted, he said, by Taiwan’s “world-class” response to the coronavirus: The island of 23 million has reported fewer than 480 cases, and U.S. and Taiwanese officials signed an accord Monday pledging further cooperation on disease control and drug development.
But the trip, in optics and rhetoric, was framed squarely against the backdrop of the escalating conflict between the Trump administration and the Chinese government, which dispatched fighter jets into the Taiwan Strait on Monday to show its displeasure with the U.S. visit.
China claims Taiwan, a self-ruled island backed militarily by Washington, as its territory and it objects strenuously to Taiwan’s participation in international bodies like the World Health Organization and to any official exchanges that lend Taiwan the appearance of sovereign nation status. Under a framework that recognizes Beijing as the sole government of China and acknowledges — without accepting — China’s territorial claim over Taiwan, senior U.S. officials rarely meet with the Taiwanese president.
But norms of behavior have been shifting …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]