The US Department of State on Friday said that China’s campaign to lure Taiwan’s allies to switch recognition to Beijing has been “harmful” to regional stability.
“China’s active campaign to alter the cross-strait status quo, including by enticing countries to discontinue diplomatic ties with Taiwan, are harmful and undermine regional stability,” a department spokesperson said in an e-mail.
“They undermine the framework that has enabled peace, stability and development for decades,” the spokesperson said.
Photo: EPA-EFE/DAVID CHANG
Earlier in the day, Taiwan announced that it was cutting diplomatic ties with Kiribati.
The announcement came after the central Pacific nation switched diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing.
Kiribati was the second diplomatic ally Taiwan lost to China this week, after the Solomon Islands on Monday switched ties. Taiwan now has 15 diplomatic allies left.
The department expressed disappointment over Kiribati’s decision.
“Countries that establish closer ties to China primarily out of the hope or expectation that such a step will stimulate economic growth and infrastructure development often find themselves worse off in the long run,” the spokesperson said.
The statement described Taiwan as a democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in international society.
The spokesperson said that Washington supports the “status quo” regarding relations across the Taiwan Strait, as well as Taiwan’s diplomatic ties and international space.
A senior White House official said that Kiribati’s decision is unlikely to contribute to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and “will not help the I-Kiribati as they work to build a sustainable and sovereign future for their country.”
Former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director Douglas Paal said that China’s latest campaign matches its strategy for Taiwan, as it has imposed pressure on the nation economically, militarily and politically.
Paal, who is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said it seems as if Beijing has a “perverse logic,” believing that such diplomatic maneuvering would help the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and hurt the Democratic Progressive Party.
“But it does not translate across the Strait. It hurts all Taiwanese,” Paal said, adding that China’s actions showed the ineffectiveness of US and Australian policy toward Pacific island nations, urging US policymakers to regroup and rethink their policies.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) accused China of trying to interfere in next year’s elections by convincing Kiribati to switch ties.
Tsai said that China would continue to suppress and coerce Taiwan ahead of the elections to influence their outcome.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
THAI CASE UPDATE: Twenty-nine close contacts of the worker have been tested with two types of tests, including 18 dorm mates, with 28 negative results so far Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang