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Departing AIT director backs Taiwan's stand against Chinese bullying

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From the AIT

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) The United States' de facto ambassador to the country has praised Taiwan for its ability to unite as one in the face of Chinese bullying while calling on Taiwanese to continue to come together and show the world their resilience.

"As you all are aware, Beijing works constantly to impede Taiwan's efforts to cooperate on the global stage, be it in sports and eSports, global health, law enforcement, civil aviation, or countless other areas," said American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen at his farewell press event Wednesday.

"The coronavirus has provided us with perhaps the best and most disturbing examples of how Taiwan's exclusion from international organizations -- in this case the WHO and ICAO -- hurt the entire global community," said Christensen, whose three-year terms ends this summer.

He cited the fact that the World Health Organization's decision making body -- the World Health Assembly -- is currently meeting in Geneva without Taiwan for the fifth consecutive year.

Though these threats have continued to rise, Taiwanese have shown to the world their resolution and unity in the face of bullying, he said.

"I think we can all remember a recent example of Taiwan demonstrating its resolve and unity in the face of bullying, bullying that quickly backfired," he said.

He showed what he was referring to by placing a pineapple on the lectern as he spoke, a reference to China's ban on pineapple imports from Taiwan starting March 1 because of excessive pesticides.

The ban was interpreted by the Taiwan side, however, as being politically motivated because China had not notified Taiwan of finding pesticides on its pineapples for months.

Following the ban, many public figures took to social media to urge support for the country's pineapple growers, and the AIT and other foreign representative offices in Taiwan also jumped on board to help promote Taiwanese pineapples.

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