The United Stated made two major moves regarding Taiwan. The first was that, on August 9, 2020, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar visited Taiwan and, on August10, met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. This is the highest ranked U.S. official to visit Taiwan. The second one was that the U.S. and Taiwan are in negotiation for the U.S. to sell Taiwan at least four MQ-9B SeaGuardian surveillance drones which have a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,100 km).
China’s Foreign Ministry issued a standard protest. People’s Daily and Xinhua didn’t comment much on either event, but Huanqiu and some other media commented on it, either cursing the U.S. or trying to downplay the event.
#1: On August 5, Wang Wenbin, Spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, stated at the press conference, that China urges the US to abide by the one-China policy and the provisions of the three Sino-US Joint Communiqués, to stop all forms of official exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan, to handle Taiwan-related issues carefully and properly, and to refrain from sending any wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces so as to avoid serious damage to Sino-US relations.
On August 5, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, stated at a press conference, that it is very dangerous for the Democratic Progressive Party authorities to collude with foreign countries and willingly play the role of a U.S.’ pawn.
On August 5, Lu Xiang, an expert on American issues at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times reporter that in 2000 and again in 2014, the U.S. had sent high-ranking officials (Department of Transportation and Environment Protection Agency) to visit Taiwan. They were sent during those two President’s second terms when they no longer considered re-election. This time, the HHS Secretary ranked higher than those two who were sent previously, based on the order of succession of Department heads to take the president’s seat if the current President is unable to perform his duties. In addition, Trump sent him to Taiwan in his first presidential term. This showed that Trump is gambling. Under the Coronavirus pandemic and economic pressure, Trump does not know how to play the chess game anymore. He just throws chess pieces onto the board. Now he has run out of pieces and throws bricks instead. (Global Times)
#2: Global Times said there was a huge controversy and debate in Taiwan regarding Azar’s visit. It said that some Taiwan netizens furiously claimed that Azar would put Taiwan into two bad areas: the pandemic (brought from the U.S.) and a crisis over the strait (between Taiwan and China). (Global Times)
#3: The Taiwan Strait Net commented that “jointly fighting the pandemic” is just a cover (for Azar’s visit). The U.S. has only one “strategy” to fight the pandemic: Blame China. Taiwan’s “magic operation (against the coronavirus)” was nothing but avoid testing. It said that quite a few people were worried, “(Azar) came from the U.S.? Shouldn’t he be quarantined?” (Taiwan Strait Net)
#4: Sina commented on the U.S. selling drones to Taiwan. “As the presidential election is coming up, the political in-fighting in the U.S. has intensified. Some politicians in the U.S. view playing the ‘Taiwan card’ as a measure that is low cost and has a quick return. However, playing the “Taiwan card” shows the U.S. lacks self-confidence and worries about its China policy. (Sina)
#5: Global Times said that some Taiwan netizens identified this drones transaction as Taiwan paying a “protection fee” to the U.S. “In the American’s eye, sending the HHS Secretary over to bring back $600 million is definitely worth it.” “The U.S. just takes Taiwan as an ATM machine.” (Global Times)
#6: Back on May14, 2020, Global Times commented on Taiwan’s purchasing 4 MQ-9 Reaper drones as not getting enough for the mainland to shoot down and claimed that these drones are nothing but target drones to be killed. (Global Times)
Related postings on Chinascope:
- Taiwan: Taiwan Was Flooded with Fake News from Beijing’s Cyberspace Army
1. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: Global Times, August 6, 2020
2. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: Global Times, August 6, 2020
3. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: Taihai (Taiwan Strait) Net, August 7, 2020
4. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: Sina, August 8, 2020
5. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: Global Times, August 7, 2020
6. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: Global Times, May 14, 2020