Despite Covid-19 Success, Taiwan Still Struggles for International Legitimacy

The following article appeared in the June 2020 issue of Global Asia:

Two recurring themes in Western media analysis of the Covid-19 pandemic have been the inherent untrustworthiness of China and the near unparalleled success of Taiwan in tackling the disease. Strangely, few commentators have expressly connected these strands.

The West, we are repeatedly told, is finally “waking up” to the mendacity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the dangers it poses. Yet if Western countries are just beginning to wipe the sleep from their eyes, Taiwan has been up and ready to go since daybreak. No one understands the CCP better than Taipei. Simply put, Taiwan operates on the premise that its cross-strait counterparts are inherently untrustworthy. This was a key factor in the rapidity and comprehensiveness with which Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration responded to reports of a strange new virus in late December.

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