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As U.S.-China Ties Deteriorate, Taiwan’s Relevance Grows

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There are doubts about Mr. Trump’s own commitment to Taiwan. Lately, John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s previous national safety adviser, wrote in his memoir that the president experienced consistently disparaged the island’s importance, comparing Taiwan to the “tip of a person of his Sharpies.”

Publicly, Mr. Trump and his administration have been significantly extra supportive. In 2016, just in advance of he took place of work, he broke with almost four decades of diplomatic observe when he accepted a congratulatory cellphone connect with from Ms. Tsai. China largely dismissed the get in touch with, characterizing it as “a petty action by the Taiwan aspect.”

In 2018, Mr. Trump, around China’s objections, signed the Taiwan Travel Act, which encouraged superior-stage official visits involving the two sides, paving the way for Mr. Azar’s take a look at. The United States stays the island’s leading arms provider, and the administration has approved more weapons product sales to Taiwan.

The U.S. Overall health and Human Expert services Office has not reported whether Mr. Azar will stop by an official memorial that has been set up in Taipei for Lee Teng-hui, the previous Taiwanese president who led the island’s peaceful democratization. In his remarks, Mr. Azar named Mr. Lee, who died past month, the “father of Taiwan’s democracy and one particular of the fantastic leaders of the 20th century’s movement toward democracy.”

As the United States and China dig into a protracted fight, some in Taiwan are worried that the island’s pursuits could get lost in the combine.

Chan Chang-chuan, a professor of general public well being at Nationwide Taiwan College, claimed that one particular area in which People in america could enable Taiwan was in coronavirus-similar vaccines and therapeutics. The United States and China are between the countries top the race to build a vaccine.

“I do have a very powerful want that Secretary Azar can pay attention to what we really need,” Mr. Chan reported. “If we get almost nothing and China has a vaccine, then it would be like if we didn’t have very good weapons to defend our security. It is strategic.”

Bella Huang contributed research.

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