During the highest visit by a US official in more than four decades, Alex Azar, the US Secretary of Health and Social Affairs praised democracy in Taiwan.
He also praised how President Tsai Ing-wen is tackling the corona epidemic. The visit is very sensitive to China, which regards Taiwan as an apostate province.
“It is a real honour to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from President Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during a meeting with Tsai.
He called democracy in Taiwan “an inspiration to the region and the world” and said he wanted to use the visit “to learn how our shared democratic values have fostered success in healthcare.”
Azar told reporters that Taiwan was “so scared” by China’s lack of transparency during the 2003 SARS outbreak that the Taiwanese population did not trust information from Beijing or the World Health Organization.
He also said the US has fought for Taiwan to be included as an observer in the WHO’s decision-making body.