Covid 19 Taiwan offers Beijing help amid resurgence of cases

Covid 19: Taiwan offers Beijing help amid resurgence of cases

The Taiwanese President offered Beijing her help in the resurgence of Covid infections in mainland China.

In a peaceful speech, President Tsai Ing-wen said the Taiwanese are “ready to provide necessary assistance based on humanitarian concerns” in Beijing “as long as there is need”.

The democratic island of Taiwan, with a population of 24 million, nevertheless lives under the constant threat of an invasion from China, which it sees as part of its territory, which it hopes to one day reclaim, if necessary by force.

The President added that she hopes Taiwanese aid can “help more people get out of the pandemic and have a safe New Year.”

epidemic and military pressure

China is facing an explosion of Covid-19 cases after abruptly abandoning its strict “zero Covid” policy last month, three years after the coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan.

In his televised New Year’s address on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the “light of hope is before us” and epidemic prevention and control is “entering a new phase.”

But Xi Jinping also claimed in another speech on Friday that Beijing has “resolutely opposed the separatists’ attempts to achieve Taiwan independence and the intervention of external forces in that perspective.”

Taiwan-China relations deteriorated in 2022 as Beijing increased military, diplomatic and economic pressure on the self-governing island. In August, Beijing held massive military drills near the island to protest the visit to Taipei of American Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House.

War is not an option

In her traditional New Year’s address on Sunday, Tsai Ing-wen said China’s military activities around Taiwan are “not helpful” in maintaining ties between the two sides.

“War has never been an option to solve problems. Only through dialogue, cooperation and a common goal of promoting regional stability and development can more people feel safe and happy,” she said.

A joint mission for Taiwan and China in 2023 is to “restore healthy and sustainable post-pandemic exchanges between people on both sides” of the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwanese president added.

“We also have a shared duty to uphold peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and the region,” she said.