A U.S. delegation led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is set to visit Taiwan as part of efforts by both sides to strengthen medical cooperation, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Aug. 5.
Azar is scheduled to meet President Tsai Ing-wen, MOFA Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung. He will also call on the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei City and take part in a discussion with medical experts.
According to the MOFA, since taking office in January 2018, Azar has firmly supported Taiwan’s participation in the global governance system, including the World Health Organization and its related activities, mechanisms and meetings.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Azar has publicly commended the Taiwan Model of managing the disease, the ministry said, adding that this support is sincerely appreciated by the government and people.
Azar’s visit underscores the strength of the relationship between the like-minded partners, the MOFA said. The government is committed to working alongside the U.S. to defend the shared values of freedom, democracy and human rights, it added.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Department of HHS Aug. 4, Azar is looking forward to conveying President Donald J. Trump’s support for Taiwan’s global health leadership and shared belief that free and democratic societies are the best model for protecting and promoting health.
It said the secretary’s visit is in keeping with the Taiwan Travel Act signed into law by Trump in 2018, which authorizes visits by high-level U.S. officials to Taiwan for the purposes of reaffirming bilateral friendship, pursuing mutual interests and celebrating shared values.
Azar is set to be the highest ranking U.S. Cabinet member to visit Taiwan since 1979, as well as the first Cabinet official to make the trip in six years. (SFC-E)
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