Experts criticize the DPP in Taiwan for 'putting politics before epidemic management'
Published: May 31, 2021 02:16 AM
Medical personnel wearing protective gear guide people at a rapid coronavirus testing center in Taipei, Taiwan on May 18, 2021. Photo: CFP

Medical personnel wearing protective gear guide people at a rapid coronavirus testing center in Taipei, Taiwan on May 18, 2021. Photo: CFP

Experts on Sunday criticized the local authorities on the island of Taiwan for putting politics before epidemic management and turning a blind eye to the increasingly rampant outbreak of COVID-19 on the island with new local cases at a record high.

The Taiwan epidemic command center reported 355 new local cases of COVID-19 infections and 11 deaths on Sunday. The island announced at the beginning of the week that it will extend its  coronavirus alert level to mid-June in an effort to contain a COVID-19 outbreak.

Experts pointed out that the recent situation on the island, since the latest outbreak on May 11, has exposed several problems in its fight against the epidemic. They mentioned that political manipulation by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has made residents of the island believe that Taiwan was an "excellent case in anti-epidemic campaigns."

Chiu Yi, a Taiwan-based expert on cross-Straits relations and TV commentator, criticized the DPP authorities saying they "put political manipulation before epidemic management." Chiu made these remarks during a conversation with Hu Xijin, Editor-in-chief of the Global Times, and Zeng Guang, Chief Epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on the Chinese social platform Sina Weibo on Sunday evening.

"The authorities in the island of Taiwan refuse to screening all residents or even all travelers arriving to the island, making residents underestimate the epidemic situation and let their guard down," Chiu said.

"While trying to prevent the epidemic, the authorities of the island try to stir up populism based on Taiwan's anti-mainland hatred. At the same time, they want a good international publicity by helping the Western media to deal with the Chinese mainland," Chiu noted.

The authorities of the island think there is an ulterior motive behind the goodwill and sincerity of the assistance offered by the Chinese mainland and are operating on the united front, which is a practice that puts political operation before epidemic prevention and management, said Chiu.

Zeng said that, compared with the island of Taiwan, the Chinese mainland puts the life of its citizens first and treats all COVID-19 patients for free.

Zeng also praised the mainland's measure to screen all residents as soon as a positive case is reported in a city and believes that the island of Taiwan should learn from the mainland in this aspect.

Hu pointed out that the biggest problem of the island of Taiwan in controlling recent epidemic outbreaks is that it is suffering from a "political disease" and "does not dare to seek truth from facts and face the real situation."

Since the infections surged in the island in May, the Chinese mainland has expressed its willingness and kindness by offering assistance and support to the island of Taiwan despite cross-Straits tensions. However the offer has been met with hostility and rejection from the DPP authority.