Funding the WHO supports Taiwan’s membership

The Hill
Date: 05/22/20
By: Dov S. Zakeim

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did the right thing when he congratulated Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration for a second term as president of Taiwan. As Pompeo rightly stated, President Tsai leads a “vibrant democracy.” Indeed, since 1996 Taiwan has witnessed seven consecutive free presidential elections and four peaceful transfers of power between the country’s two leading parties, the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The DPP, which president Tsai leads, has been a vocal advocate of Taiwanese independence; in practice, however, it has been more cautious in its relationship with the mainland. President Tsai essentially reiterated that stance in her inaugural address, emphasizing that “both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term,” and adding, “I want to reiterate the words ‘peace, parity, democracy and dialogue.’” 

Nevertheless, when she also asserted that “we will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo,” she triggered outrage in Beijing, which has never dropped its insistence that the island is nothing more than a breakaway province. 

It is, therefore, hardly surprising that Pompeo’s congratulatory message also infuriated Beijing. The Chinese foreign ministry complained that Pompeo had the gall to refer to Tsai as “president” and asserted that his message “constitute[s] a severe violation of the One China principle … and a serious interference in China’s internal affairs. … There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory.”     [FULL  STORY]

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