US has annoyed China with its high-profile Taiwan visit image. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is the highest-ranking US politician to gather meetings on the island for decades.
Taiwan is to all intents and purposes, an independent state, but China consider it as a breakaway province.
China pleaded with the US to obey what it called its “one China” principle.
“China firmly opposes any official interactions between the US and Taiwan,” a foreign ministry spokesman said when the visit was reported last week.
“We urge the US… not to send any wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ elements to avoid severe damage to China-US relations.”
Mr Azar, who arrived on the island a day before meeting President Tsai Ing-wen, said there were “three overarching themes” for the visit.
“The first is to recognise Taiwan as an open and democratic society, executing a highly successful and transparent Covid-19 response,” he said.
“The second is to reaffirm Taiwan as a long partner and friend of the United States”.
“The third is to note that Taiwan deserves to be recognised as a global health leader with an excellent track record of contributing to international health.”
Although the US does not have a formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act grant the US permission to sell arms to the island, and dedicate it to “close relations”.
Taiwan has verified fewer than 480 coronavirus cases and just seven deaths.
It cancelled flights from Wuhan on 23 January before most other countries initiated quarantine for other entrant, and was able to track and trace infections.
Taiwan is not a member of the WHO, because it is not acknowledged by China or the United Nations.
On 31 December, the government questioned the WHO for more information about the deadly virus, but said it got no comment.
That was grabbed upon by President Donald Trump in April, in a tweet attacking the WHO.
The World Health Organization said the Taiwanese email “made no mention of human-to-human transmission”.