Sunday, June 6th, 2021
In the fight against new infections
US donates 750,000 doses of vaccine to Taiwan
The US wants to deliver hundreds of thousands of vaccines to Taiwan, which is fighting a corona wave. A total of 750,000 cans are to be donated – this is announced by a US delegation in Taipei. This decision is likely to cause trouble in Beijing.
A non-partisan US delegation has traveled to Taiwan and announced the donation of hundreds of thousands of corona vaccine doses to the island. Washington will donate 750,000 doses of vaccine to Taiwan, US Senators Tammy Duckworth, Christopher Coons and Dan Sullivan announced in Taipei. The visit of US politicians to Taiwan is likely to cause irritation in Beijing.
Duckworth, Coons and Sullivan landed on a US military plane at Taipei’s Songshan Airport that morning. It is extremely unusual for official US delegations to travel to Taiwan by army aircraft. Washington is considered Taiwan’s most important international ally, but it does not officially have diplomatic relations with Taipei. “We’re here as friends because we know Taiwan is going through a difficult time,” Senator Duckworth said after arriving in Taipei. It was therefore particularly important for the delegation to travel to Taiwan as a non-partisan group.
Duckworth and Coons are Democratic Party members, Sullivan is Republican. It was “crucial” for Washington to include Taiwan in the first group of states to receive corona vaccines from the United States, Duckworth said. “We recognize your urgent need and we appreciate this partnership.”
Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province
Last week, US President Joe Biden announced that he would donate around 25 million corona vaccine doses to countries with urgent needs. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu spoke of “unique difficulties” Taiwan’s fight against the coronavirus. The government in Taipei is doing its best to import vaccines, Wu said. However, obstacles would have to be overcome “to ensure that these lifesaving supplies can be delivered without Beijing-created problems”.
The Chinese leadership has previously denied allegations made by Taipei that it was subverting Taiwan’s efforts to import corona vaccines. In recent years, Beijing has massively increased economic, military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan.
Beijing regards Taiwan, which broke away from China in 1949, as a breakaway province to be reunited with the mainland – if necessary by force. Since the election of independence advocate Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwanese president in 2016, Beijing has increased diplomatic, economic and military pressure even further. With the “one China principle”, Beijing is preventing other states from maintaining diplomatic relations with Taipei at the same time.