In the context of rising tensions between the United States and China, the number of deliveries is more than three times the number of shots previously allocated to the island by Washington.
The United States announced that 2.5 million doses of COVID vaccine are being shipped to Taiwan, which is more than three times the number of vaccines previously allocated by Washington to the island, which is facing increasing political and military pressure from China.
Washington competed with Beijing to deepen its geopolitical influence through so-called “vaccine diplomacy”. Initially, it promised to donate 750,000 doses of vaccine to Taiwan, but as President Joe Biden’s administration pushed forward its pledge to send 80 million U.S.-made vaccines to the world , This number has increased.
Turn it up! The 2.5 million doses of vaccine we donated are being shipped to Taiwan, and the health partnership between Taiwan and the United States has helped save lives here and around the world. @StateDept Proudly support @POTUS‘Committed to helping the world overcome COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/J0rgy753bs
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) June 19, 2021
Earlier this month, when tensions between Washington and Beijing were heating up, the US senator visited Taiwan and announced the donation of vaccines.
“Last round! The 2.5 million doses of vaccine we donated are being shipped to Taiwan,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price wrote in a tweet on Saturday.
China regards Taiwan as an inalienable part of its territory and has repeatedly offered to provide coronavirus vaccines to the island, which has been struggling with the peak of domestic infection. Taipei expressed concern about the safety of Chinese shooting.
— Tsai Ing-wen Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) June 19, 2021
In recent years, Beijing has exerted economic, military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan and excluded it from international institutions such as the World Health Organization.
Washington remains Taiwan’s largest ally, but it does not maintain full diplomatic relations with Taipei because it officially recognizes Beijing.
Until recently, Taiwan was praised for its handling of the pandemic, and only a few deaths were recorded.
But after the outbreak of airline pilots, the number of cases surged.
“Thanks to #US for making such a touching gesture of friendship. These vaccines will greatly help keep #Taiwan safe and healthy,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen wrote on Twitter.