lørdag 15. august 2020

Taiwan risks being caught up in the power struggle between the United States and China

It took less than 24 hours after United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar touched down in Taiwan, in an historic visit intended to convey President Donald Trump's support for the democratic island, for China to deliver its own message.

On Monday morning, as Azar toured the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, several Chinese fighter jets briefly crossed over the de facto maritime border that separates the island from mainland China. Later that week, the Chinese military held large-scale drills in waters close to Taiwan, touted in Beijing's state media as a "warning" to those seeking the island's independence. 

The US has maintained close ties with Taiwan since it split from mainland China in 1949 after the end of a bloody civil war. But until recently Washington has avoided major displays of friendship so as to not antagonize Beijing, which continues to view the self-governing democracy of around 24 million people as an inseparable part of its territory.