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Sen. Tammy Duckworth outside the U.S. Capitol last Tuesday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The U.S. will donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) announced after arriving in the capital, Taipei, on a bipartisan congressional visit Sunday.

Why it matters: The island state is facing spiking coronavirus cases, and officials say their efforts to obtain vaccines are being impeded by China's government, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory.

  • The visit by Duckworth and Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Ak) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) is likely to raise the ire of China's government, which reacted with fury to then-Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's trip to Taiwan last August.

Driving the news: The donation is part of President Biden's initiative to share COVID-19 vaccines globally.

What they're saying: "We are here as friends, because we know that Taiwan is experiencing a challenging time right now, which was why it was especially important for the three of us to be here in a bipartisan way," Duckworth said, per AP.

  • "It was critical to the United States that Taiwan be included in the first group to receive vaccines, because we recognize your urgent need, and we value this partnership."
  • Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, who met the senators at Tapei's airport, said officials would have to "overcome obstacles to ensure that these life-saving medicine are delivered free from troubles of Beijing," AP reports.

Go deeper

Jun 5, 2021 - Health

Fauci calls personal attacks "distorted" and "misleading"

Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci called criticism against him "completely inappropriate, distorted, misleading, and misrepresented attacks."

Details: MSNBC's Rachel Maddow asked Biden's chief medical adviser if he worried about being the subject of personal attacks as the public face of the federal government's coronavirus response, but Fauci said he was more concerned about the "attack on science."

Jun 5, 2021 - World

Biden extends Trump's tough line on China

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

By embracing moves made during the last year of the Trump administration, President Biden is persuading reluctant U.S. progressives and even some European leaders that a more muscular China policy is necessary.

Why it matters: "Any concerns that the Biden administration might soften Trump's policies toward China have largely been laid to rest," said Lisa Curtis, who directs the Center for a New America Security's Indo-Pacific Security Program and served on Trump's National Security Council.