The United States of America will ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan on Saturday, a senior administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the island, That has faced Rising political and military pressure from China
Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called”vaccine diplomacy”, initially had promised to contribute 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that amount as President Joe Biden’s administration improvements its vow to send 80 million U.S.-made shots across the world.
China, which considers Taiwan an integral part of its land, has repeatedly offered to send coronavirus vaccines to the island, which was battling a spike in domestic infections. Taipei has voiced concern about the safety of Chinese shots.
The 2.5 million donated doses of this Moderna
“We are not allocating these doses, or delivering these doses, according to political or economic problems. We are committing these experiments with the singular objective of saving lives,” the official stated.
“Our vaccines don’t come with strings attached,” the official said, adding Taiwan had”confronted unfair challenges in its efforts to acquire vaccines on the global marketplace.”
A deal for Taiwan to purchase vaccines from Germany’s BioNTech SE fell through this year, with Taiwan’s government blaming pressure from Beijing.
“We believe that these efforts by China to block purchases, for political purposes, are reprehensible,” the mature Biden government official said.
Taiwan is attempting to speed up the coming of the millions of vaccines it’s on order, though infections remain comparatively low despite a growth in domestic circumstances. Only around 6% of Taiwan’s 23.5 million people have obtained at least one chance of a vaccine regimen.
The U.S. dispatch comes at a time when Washington has been operating with Taipei to make secure supply chains for strategic items such as computer processors, of which Taiwan is a key producer, that are vital for U.S. automobile manufacturers and other businesses.
It also comes after Taiwan announced on Friday that it will allow Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Taiwan’s Foxconn and semiconductor giant TSMC, to negotiate on its behalf for COVID-19 vaccines.