TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The United States and the West must do more to counter China’s aggressive behavior and they could start by fighting its vaccine blackmail targeting Taiwan, the Washington Post said in an opinion piece Friday (June 18).
During a short visit to Taiwan on June 6, three U.S. senators announced plans for a donation of 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses as part of a global initiative by President Joe Biden.
Tensions between Taiwan and China are growing more dangerous by the day, columnist Josh Rogin wrote, but he added Beijing did not need to launch a military attack to cause the death of Taiwanese. “China is already doing that right now – because it’s blocking Taiwan’s efforts to purchase COVID-19 vaccines from anyone other than China,” he wrote.
Beijing is interfering with the island’s efforts to import vaccines, while trying to pressure it into accepting the less effective Chinese jabs, Rogin wrote.
One of the three visitors to Taiwan, Senator Chris Coons, told Rogin that an increasing number of lawmakers believe that Xi Jinping’s (習近平) China is moving to force Taiwan into unification, if not by military action, then by other “coercive and covert means.”
The Washington Post columnist warned that if the U.S. did not offer vaccines, it was basically telling Taiwan it likely would not come to its aid in the case of a military invasion either.
“And failing to respond robustly to Xi’s increasing aggression and intimidation toward Taiwan is the surest way to invite more of it, thereby increasing the risk of the very conflict we are trying to avoid,” Rogin concluded.