Taiwan offers aid to Beijing amid resurgence of COVID-19 cases

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Taïwan offers aid to Beijing amid resurgence of COVID-19 cases

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China is facing an explosion in COVID-19 cases after abruptly abandoning its strict policy of health restrictions last month.

Taiwanese President extended an olive branch to Beijing in New Year's greetings on Sunday, offering help amid China's surge in COVID-19 infections continental.

The democratic island of Taiwan, which has a population of 24 million, lives under constant threat of an invasion from China, which considers it part of its territory to be reconquered, if necessary by force.

In a peaceful speech, President Tsai Ing-wen said that the Taiwanese were ready to provide the necessary assistance based on humanitarian concerns in Beijing, as long as there is a need.

The president added that she hopes Taiwanese aid can help more people emerge from the pandemic and have a safe New Year.

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Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during her New Year greetings.

China is facing an explosion in COVID-19 cases after abruptly abandoning its strict zero-COVID policy last month, three years after the coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan.

In his televised New Year's address on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the “light of hope is ahead of us” as epidemic prevention and control enters a new phase .

But Xi Jinping also claimed, in another speech on Friday, that Beijing had resolutely resisted the separatists' attempts to achieve Taiwan independence and the intervention of external forces to achieve this.

< p class="e-p">Relations between Taiwan and China deteriorated in 2022, with Beijing increasing military, diplomatic and economic pressure on the self-governing island. In August, Beijing held massive military exercises near the island to protest a visit to Taipei by then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi of the United States.

In her traditional New Year's speech on Sunday, Ms. Tsai said China's military activities around Taiwan were of no help in maintaining relations between the two sides.

< p class="e-p">War has never been an option to solve problems. Only through dialogue, cooperation and the common goal of promoting regional stability and development can make more people feel safe and happy, she said.

A joint mission for Taiwan and China in 2023 is to restore healthy and sustainable post-pandemic exchanges between people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwanese President added.

We also have a common duty to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the region, she pleaded.

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