Why Taiwan should be wary about its growing bond with the US
Taipei must consider the possibility that Washington is using it as a pawn to frustrate Beijing. There is disturbing evidence that Trump considers relations with Taiwan expendable in the context of a deal he could make with China
South China Morning Post
Date: 21 Aug, 2020
By: Derek Grossman
US health secretary Alex Azar waves before leaving Taiwan from Taipei Songshan Airport on August 12. Photo: EPA-EFE/Handout
On August 9, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar made a historic visit to Taiwan. Azar became the highest-ranking American cabinet official to travel to the island since 1979, which was when the United States dropped official diplomatic recognition of Taiwan in favour of communist China.Indeed, Azar’s visit should be celebrated by Taipei and Washington as it presents the latest evidence that bilateral relations are significantly strengthening – in this case, to better understand and handle the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Taiwan should also view the US’ moves to bolster bilateral ties with some measure of trepidation. Simply put, the US’ objectives, in taking such unprecedented steps with Taiwan over the past few years, remain unclear. [FULL STORY]