The same day he spoke with Xi Jinping by telephone in an attempt to reduce the Sino-American tensions linked to the coronavirus, Thursday March 27, Donald Trump initialed a law strengthening the ties between the United States and Taiwan. This law on the initiative of international protection and strengthening of allies of Taiwan (the “Taipei Act”) incites the United States to plead for Taiwan to become a member of all international organizations in which the status of State is not not a prerequisite, and obtains observer status in others.
This law also authorizes the United States to increase its economic, diplomatic and military aid to countries which revalorize their relations with Taiwan and to decrease it in the opposite case. It also encourages the American president or his representatives to plead the cause of Taiwan's participation in international organizations during their contacts with representatives of the People's Republic of China. The text was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives on March 4.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said the law was "Proof of the friendship and mutual support between Taiwan and the United States, as we work together to address the global threats to human health and the democratic values we share". If the United States does not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent country – the island being considered by Beijing as a Chinese region -, Washington gives it important diplomatic and military support.
"The virus that comes from Wuhan"
The law was passed when Taiwan complained that it could not be a member of the World Health Organization because of the veto imposed by Beijing. Interviewed on Skype on Hong Kong TV on Skype on Taiwan's possible membership in WHO on Saturday, Bruce Aylward, one of the leaders of the WHO, refused to answer and interrupted communication. The scene goes on loop on social networks. Taiwan pledged on March 18 to donate 100,000 masks a week to the United States. The two sides decided to strengthen their cooperation to fight the fight, the statement said. "The virus that comes from Wuhan" – formulation which goes in the direction of the strategy of the Trump administration of insisting on the Chinese origin of the virus.
This law is also enacted at a time when China is stepping up military pressure on Taiwan. On February 10, February 28 and March 17, Chinese fighter planes briefly entered Taiwanese airspace, causing Taiwanese air traffic authorities to be alerted. For its part, the Taiwanese armed forces conducted a large-scale national exercise on March 24, including eight F-16 fighters to test their combat readiness in the event of a Chinese air invasion, the defense ministry said. Finally, a US Navy vessel crossed the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday March 25.
Elected for the first time in 2016, Tsai Ing-wen, from the Progressive Democratic Party (DPP), a pro-independence party, was widely re-elected in January 2020, denouncing Beijing's desire to give Taiwan the same status as Hong Kong and Macao , territories that are part of China. According to a poll published Thursday, March 26, 90% of Taiwanese are opposed to the formula "one country, two systems", which governs Hong Kong and Macao. They were 75.4% in 2019.
Under the chairmanship of Mme Tsai, Taiwan emphasizes the importance of democratic values. Final thumbs down in Beijing on Saturday March 28, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that the 13 American journalists of the New york times, of Wall street journal and Washington Post deported in March by Beijing would be welcome in Taiwan, "A country that is a beacon of freedom and democracy".
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