Taiwan’s balancing act is becoming ever more precarious

The Spectator
Date: 22 May 2020

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen listens to a masked soldier amid the Covid-19 pandemic during her visit to a military base in Tainan, southern Taiwan, on April 9, 2020 (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)

After a landslide victory in January’s election, Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen was re-inaugurated on Wednesday at a scaled-down ceremony in Taipei. As ever, Taiwan’s relationship with China was the central issue of the election. This year, though, a greater sense of urgency surrounded the vote, primarily because of the instability in Hong Kong. 

Now, polling day feels like it belongs to a distant past, taking place amid rumblings of a new virus infecting residents of Wuhan across the Taiwan Strait.

Although Taiwan has rightly received much praise for its response to coronavirus, the past few months have not been without significant difficulties. Above all, coronavirus has reinvigorated discussion of Taiwan’s position on the global stage and its exclusion from the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the hands of the Chinese government. 

Taiwan’s already precarious position relative to the WHO was compounded last month when the organisation's director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus accused Taiwan of launching a racist campaign against him.   [FULL  STORY]

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