China sends fighter jets as US health chief visits Taiwan

WION New Delhi Aug 10, 2020, 10.49 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar wearing a face mask attends a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office, in Taipei, Taiwan August 10, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )

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Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, the highest-level US official to visit in four decades.

Chinese air force jets briefly crossed the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday and were tracked by Taiwanese missiles, Taiwan's government said, as US health chief Alex Azar visited the island to offer President Donald Trump's support.

The aircraft were tracked by land-based Taiwanese anti-aircraft missiles and were "driven out" by patrolling Taiwanese aircraft, the air force said in a statement released by the defence ministry.

Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, the highest-level US official to visit in four decades. Azar's viist is the highest-level US Official visit to Taiwan in decades.

Azar is visiting to strengthen economic and public-health cooperation with Taiwan and support its international role in fighting the novel coronavirus.

"Taiwan's response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent, democratic nature of Taiwan's society and culture," he told Tsai.

Taking Beijing's one-China policy head on, Azar said, "This visit represents an acknowledgement of the US and Taiwan's deep friendship and partnership across security, economics, health care, and democratic, open, transparent values".
 
Taiwan has been successful in containing the wuhan virus pandemic.

Azar's visit comes at a time when US-China relation have hit a rock bottom. Both countries are slapping each other with sanctions. There is an ongoing trade war and a blamegame over the Wuhan virus pandemic.