Jun 20, 2021 - World

U.S. sends 2.5 million COVID-19 doses to Taiwan

Illustration of syringes forming a health plus/cross

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. sent 2.5 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan on Sunday — More than triple the number it had previously pledged, AP reports.

Why it matters: The donation is a show of support for Taiwan as it faces pressure from China, which has claimed the self-governed island as its territory, AP writes. It comes as Taiwan has faced an uptick in COVID-19 cases in May, despite the virus having been largely under control in the country until that point.

The U.S. had promised Taiwan 750,000 vaccine doses earlier this month, but Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the countries worked together to increase the donation.

Between the lines: The donation has "both public health and geopolitical meaning," AP writes. The U.S. doesn't have normal diplomatic relations with Taiwan under the one-China policy, and China has sought to bring Taiwan under its control.

  • “These vaccines are proof of America’s commitment to Taiwan,” said Brent Christensen, the director of the American Institute in Taiwan. “Taiwan is a family member to the world’s democratic countries.”
  • “Whether it is for regional peace and stability or the virus that is a common human adversary, we will continue to uphold common ideas and work together,” wrote Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Facebook, per AP.

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