China promises “consequences” to U.S. over Pompeo comments
Yesterday in an understated event against the backdrop on COVID-19, Taiwan inaugurated Dr. Tsai Ing-wen to a second term in office.
Right on cue, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) went crazy.
The excuse this time was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s congratulatory statement read at the inauguration and the offending tweet that went with it.
“On Pompeo’s congratulation to Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration, we express strong indignation and condemnation. China will take necessary counter-measures, and the consequences will be borne by the U.S. side,” tweeted Lijian Zhao, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Taiwan, also called the Republic of China, is an island south of the mainland where anti-communist forces rallied after losing the mainland in 1949. The PRC — Communist China — says that Taiwan is still part of the PRC.
Called “one-country, two-system,” the PRC says that eventually, Communist China will reabsorb Taiwan under communist rule, in the same way, they are seeking to annex Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was handed back to China by the UK in 1997 under the one-country, two-systems theory. China has been working diligently since then to completely assimilate Hong Kong under one system.
“Here, I want to reiterate the words ‘peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue’. We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan… We stand fast by this principle,” Taiwan’s Tsai said last night.
As Pompeo noted in his address, despite having a population of just 23 million, Taiwan is the 10th largest trading partner with the U.S. Oddly, for such a hostile relationship, the People’s Republic of China is also Taiwan’s largest trading partner.
Not coincidentally, the COVID pandemic is bringing Taiwan and the U.S. closer together and it’s angering Beijing.
Taiwan has donated supplies around the world, in part because Taiwan was the most effective country in the world in containing the virus.
With a population comparable to New York state, Taiwan has had only 440 cases of COVID-19 with just seven deaths.
Last night Taiwan sought to contrast their position with the PRC position of self-aggrandizement: “Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping,” was heard several times during the inaugural.
Taiwan has pledged $35 billion in the fight against coronavirus and has donated ten million masks.
“We will donate surplus masks and other supplies to our allies and countries hit hardest by COVID-19. These supplies will go to medical workers on the front lines who are working around the clock to save lives,” Tsai pledged in March.
At least two million masks have been donated by Taiwan to the United States.
In addition to the criticism about the Pompeo address, China’s foreign ministry is dusting off its previous allegations that the COVID-19 outbreak originated in the U.S.
“Scientists at the U.S. NIH began developing a #COVID19 vaccine on January 11. There were reports of cases as early as November last year. Any explanation or investigation?” tweeted Hua Chungying and official spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
That’s Communist China, right on cue.
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