Taiwanese missiles spotted Chinese fighter jets while crossing the Taiwan Strait’s mid-line on Monday, August 10. The Government of Taiwan confirmed the incident during a public conference when Alex Azar was visiting the island. The latter is the chief of the US Health Department, who reached Taiwan as a gesture of support extended by President Donald Trump. The Sino-US relations have now become even tenser after the visit of Alex Azar.
According to official reports, the health chief’s visit to Taiwan was a visit from one of the highest-level US official for the first time in the past forty years. However, China’s disappointment regarding this is that they claim that Taiwan is a part of their province. Therefore, the Chinese government is strongly condemning the USA’s decision to support Taiwan.
Earlier, China has already warned the US of swift and robust retaliation against Azar’s trip. They flew two fighter jets, J-10 and J-11, as a part of a brief rounding. The aircraft flew over the disputed area of Taiwan, a narrow strait dividing it from the Chinese mainland. The rounding took place at around 9 am (0100 GMT) on Monday, August 10. It was just a couple of hours before the meeting between Alex Azar, and Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan. The Air Force spokesperson of Taiwan later confirmed all the reports of the incident.
Retaliation through fighter jets over the Taiwan Strait
Anti-aircraft Taiwanese land-based missiles tracked down the Chinese fighter jets. According to the statement issued by the Taiwanese Defense Ministry, these jets were “drive out” by patrolling Taiwanese aircraft. It is the third time that there is news of such an attack since 2016. Back in that year, a similar incident took place, and Chinese fighter jets were spotted over the Taiwan Strait’s median line. Despite the draining relationship between Beijing and Washington, the Trump government seems to be fueling the tension. They are prioritizing their decision to support the democratic island by boosting arms sales.
According to sources, Alex Azar said that it was an honor for him to be able to visit the place during his recent visit to Taiwan. Besides, Azar stressed the importance of friendship between Taiwan and the USA. Now both Presidents Tsai and Trump seem to have become friendlier than ever, and the reason may be their conventional conflict with China.
In a picture from the recent meeting, Azar was seen standing in front of two Taiwanese flags. The incident is like a repetition of a historical scene in which Washington extended its support to Beijing and broke off all ties with Taipei in 1979. The Taiwanese government also believes that the USA is trying to improve public health and economic cooperation. Moreover, they are acting as strong support backing Taiwan to fight through the pandemic.
Strengthening the relationship between the USA and Taiwan
Alex appreciated the way Taiwan and President Tsai were handling the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is like a role model for the rest of the world. Alex Azar says that all the credit goes to the transparent, open, and democratic nature of Taiwanese culture and society. The health department of Taiwan has successfully implemented active steps to combat the coronavirus. As a result, they are still managing to keep the number of COVID infections lower than all other neighboring countries.
Presently, the records state that there are 480 positive cases and seven deaths on the island. Out of these, most of the cases are from international destinations.
On the other hand, the USA stands as the country leading the COVID positive charts and fatality charts. The American government, regarding the pandemic, has continuously been at loggerheads with China. The Trump administration accuses Beijing of the lack of transparency in its policies. While visiting Taiwan, Azar clearly stated that the visit symbolizes the fact that both countries want to take their anti-pandemic collaborations to the next level. Some of the critical areas of attention, in this case, are drug research and vaccine production. As a result, Taiwan is very grateful to the US for their kind gesture. The Taiwanese government is thanking the US for permitting them to attend the World Health Assembly organized by the WHO (World Health Organization). China still has not let Taiwan be a part of the WHO team because it considers the island as a part of their country.