U.S. President Donald Trump recently signed into law an act that extends America’s support for Taiwan at the international level. The act has triggered a backlash from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which sees the U.S.-Taiwan alliance as a threat to its plan for annexing Taiwan and creating a unified China.
“The Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act, signed by Trump into law on March 26 with strong bipartisan support, requires the U.S. State Department to report to Congress on steps taken to strengthen Taiwan’s diplomatic relations. It also requires the United States to ‘alter’ engagement with nations that undermine Taiwan’s security or prosperity,” according to Reuters.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted that the TAIPEI Act is a testament to America and Taiwan’s unified stance against threats to values like democracy and human health. She posted an image featuring the flags of both nations together with the slogan “Friends in Freedom, Partners in Prosperity.” Senator Cory Gardner, one of the authors of the act, argued that the act was necessary since America had to respond to China’s bullying of Taiwan. At the same time, the act will send a message to nations worldwide that there will be serious consequences for supporting China’s actions that undermine the existence of Taiwan.
At present, Taiwan only has diplomatic relations with 15 countries, most of which do not hold any significant power on the international stage. As such, cementing its partnership with the U.S. will give Taiwan a strong ally to counter China’s invasionist tendencies. The Chinese foreign ministry has called the act a “crude interference in China’s internal affairs” and asked the U.S. to “correct its mistakes.” Spokesman Gen Shuang warned that implementing the act would trigger a “resolute strike back” by Beijing.
Last month, a group of U.S. lawmakers wrote a letter to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asking him to stop the organization’s discrimination against Taiwan. “The ongoing exclusion of Taiwan from the WHO during this epidemic has put people in Taiwan and around the world at greater risk while harming both the integrity of the WHO and the security of member states… We urge you to ignore the pressure and bullying of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and allow Taiwan’s participation in this fight [against the coronavirus],” the letter stated (The Epoch Times).
The Chinese military seems to be in no mood to let Taiwan take a breather during this CCP coronavirus outbreak since it has been pushing forward with many maneuvers aimed at rattling the island nation. Since February, at least four attempts have been made by Chinese aircraft to interfere or at least fly close to Taiwan’s airspace.
“China has set a political objective to attack the Tsai administration under the theme of accusing her government of banking on the outbreak to seek the island’s independence,” Kuo Yu-jen, professor at the Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies of Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-sen University, said to The Epoch Times.
The first interference took place on February 9 when a few Chinese jets flew from Bashi Strait in southern Taiwan to Miyako Strait in northern Taiwan. The very next day, a Chinese bomber escorted by Chinese jets crossed the meridian line, only to return to China. On February 28, another bomber tested Taiwan’s southwestern waters. The last interference attempt took place on March 16 when Chinese jets flew close to Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. President Tsai condemned China’s military maneuvers, reminding that the world is still grappling with the effects of the coronavirus.