BERLIN—Taiwan’s successful handling of the COVID-19 outbreak is thanks to the island nation’s mistrust of the Chinese Communist Party, Taiwan representative to Germany Jhy-Wey Shieh explained.
While much of the world is on lockdown in an effort to contain the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, daily life in Taiwan continues almost as normal with hardly any restrictions.
The fact that Taiwan has fared much better than most countries in handling the CCP virus pandemic has stunned some experts. So far, Taiwan has had only 100 confirmed cases and one death.
The odds were stacked against Taiwan to be hit hard with the CCP virus. It’s in close proximity to mainland China, millions of Taiwanese travel to and from China each year, and it has been excluded from almost all international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), due to pressure from Beijing.
In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times’ Germany, Shieh said that being left out has made Taiwan stronger amid the crisis.
“This exclusion has taught us—and this is saving lives—that we need to rely on ourselves first and foremost,” he said.
Shieh said Taiwan learned how to deal with the CCP during an epidemic the hard way. During the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003, Beijing blocked the WHO from assisting Taiwan and the CCP gave Taiwan incorrect information on the outbreak. This cost 73 Taiwanese lives, he said.
“Any information you get from Beijing must be verified before you can say it is true or not true,” he said. “This is an authoritarian, if not dictatorial, system and it is characteristic of such a regime that stability goes before truth.”
When the CCP first reported on the virus, Taiwan early on sent a medical team to Wuhan, where the virus first appeared, for a fact-finding mission. While the CCP said that there’s no human-human transmission, Taiwan didn’t buy it and started preparing for an epidemic.
Taiwan was the first country to control all flights from Wuhan, tracking each passenger and testing for the virus, Shieh said. Taiwan also ensured early on the country has the protective gear it needs by issuing an export stop and ramping up production.
“Always be on your guard. According to a Chinese saying—this means that the definition of danger is broad, very broad,” Shieh said.
Since almost all infections are imported cases, on Wednesday, Taiwan banned entry to almost all foreigners.
NTD refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
Erik Rusch of Epoch Times Germany contributed to this report.