China wants to transform Taiwan, a democratic territory, into “the next Hong Kong,” Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Tuesday after meeting with a senior US official who is visiting to the island.
“Our daily lives are becoming increasingly difficult as China continues to pressure Taiwan to accept its political conditions, conditions that will make Taiwan the next Hong Kong,” said Wu to US Health Secretary Alex Azar, whose trip to Taipei was severely criticized by the Chinese government.
In Hong Kong, crackdown on dissidents has intensified since Beijing’s draconian national security law came into force in late June.
Numerous pro-democracy activists have been arrested, while several opposition candidates for the legislature have been disqualified.
This growing Chinese interference in Hong Kong worries Taiwan, an island of 23 million people.
Beijing continues to see Taiwan as a dishonest province that must forcibly return under its domination if necessary.
“The people of Taiwan are also very familiar with the threats, whether military, diplomatic or epidemic,” said Foreign Minister Wu, drawing a parallel with what is happening in Hong Kong.
Azar, who is on a three-day visit to the island, is the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan since 1979, when the United States broke diplomatic ties with Taipei to recognize the communist government established in Beijing as the only representative from China. .
On Monday, he was received by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the black beast of China, who thanked the United States for supporting its efforts to get Taiwan admitted to the World Health Organization (WHO) as an observer, despite Beijing managed to exclude Taiwan from the United Nations agency.
– Responses to the pandemic –
The trip takes place in a context of tensions between China and the United States over several issues, such as the Hong Kong issue, the coronavirus or trade issues.
On Monday, the Taiwan Ministry of Defense said that Chinese fighters made a brief foray beyond the Taiwan strait line that Beijing and Taipei consider their “border”.
During his visit, Azar praised Taiwanese democracy and its policy in the fight against the coronavirus.
Instead, he criticized China’s attitude towards the pandemic in its territory and its authoritarian model of governance.
Taiwan, which has so far registered less than 500 cases of covid-19 and only 7 deaths, has managed to control the coronavirus thanks to its democracy and transparency, Wu said on Tuesday.
“In contrast to an authoritarian model in which authority is too paralyzed to reveal the facts, in the transparent Taiwanese model we simply cannot lie or hide,” he said.
China has finally managed to contain the epidemic through long-range containment and travel restrictions.
In contrast, the United States has become the country with the highest number of cases (more than 5 million) and the highest number of deaths (more than 160,000) from the disease in the world.
Detractors of U.S. President Donald Trump accuse him of hardening his tone against Beijing to mislead the public about his government’s mistakes in fighting COVID-19, three months before the presidential elections.
aw / jta / jac / ybl / jvb-mar / zm