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Tsai administration putting lives at risk playing political games: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2021-05-23 19:45
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The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei. [Photo/Xinhua]

Having boasted of being an "excellent student", it seems that the Taiwan authorities have forgotten their lessons, and after months of keeping the novel coronavirus under control, the island is now facing a sharp rise in infections.

Yet with the daily number of new cases surpassing 150 on average since May 15, the Tsai Ing-wen administration is still playing its political games, aggravating the island's woes.

With only 310,000 doses of vaccines available, her administration has not only rejected purchasing vaccines from the Chinese mainland but also fabricated all kinds of excuses to denigrate the motives of the mainland in extending a helping hand.

It has even accused Beijing of engaging in "cognitive warfare" to try and undermine trust in the government, which the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council quickly dismissed as a ridiculous attempt to draw attention away from the real issues.

The same claim was leveled at the island's health authorities on Sunday in a sharp rebuke of the administration's response to the latest surge in infections by one of the opposition parties.

After they made a "regression calibration", citing the delayed reporting of test results, and abruptly raised the number of infections on the island, the island authorities were urged to improve the reporting system rather than "creating new expressions".

And considering that countries around the world are scrambling to grab whatever vaccines are available to inoculate their populations, Taiwan's rejection of the mainland's offer of assistance is deplorable as it is clearly politically driven, and will put the welfare of the island's residents at risk.

In fact, since the outbreak of the pandemic, the independence-seeking ruling Democratic Progressive Party authorities on the island have been obsessed with their political calculations and sought to politicize and manipulate the outbreak, putting their secessionist goal above pandemic containment and the well-being of 23 million Taiwan compatriots.

They not only joined the loud chorus of some ill-intentioned Western countries politicizing the virus, but have also used the pandemic as an excuse to advance their political schemes on the world stage through their bid for independent participation in the World Health Assembly.¬

With less than 1 percent of the local population inoculated, the island has one of the lowest vaccination rates worldwide. Yet the politically-driven local authorities had the nerve to declare that the island intends to buy vaccines as an aid to consolidate ties with a handful of countries that still maintain "diplomatic" ties with the island.

Given the current resurgence of the virus and the missteps of her administration over the past year because of its political miscalculations, it is no surprise that there is growing public resentment toward it on the island. An online poll conducted by Taiwan Yahoo News last week showed 79.5 percent of the respondents were "very dissatisfied" with the Tsai Ing-wen administration.

Tsai and the DPP should stop playing their political games, and pay more attention to the well-being of the island's residents.

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