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March 8, 2021: Briefings on Taiwan-US relations


1) Taiwanese military officers to attend a meeting in the US

· Two un-named Taiwanese military officers have been scheduled to attend a bilateral exchange meeting in the US.

· Representatives from Taiwan and several US organizations will exchange military intelligence and operational capacity reports.

· The meeting is usually held every year but was previously canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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2) Distribution of Chinese vaccines may affect Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy

· China is set to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to New Southbound Policy countries, including Laos, the Philippines, and Cambodia, among others.

· Countries that receive vaccines through China may feel obligated to be more friendly and cooperative with China, possibly incurring negative effects for Taiwan.

· China’s “vaccine diplomacy” comes at a time when the US and other countries are already concerned over China’s actions in the Indo-Pacific region.

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3) China urges the US to cease support for Taiwan

· Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) warned the US not to cross the “red line” of Taiwan by continuing to support it, stressing that the Chinese government will not compromise on the issue on its sovereignty over the island nation.

· Wang also defended the Chinese government’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, both issues of concern to the US and other countries.

· President Biden has issued statements regarding his future China strategy but has given no indication of changing some hard-line Trump-era policies.

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