WASHINGTON, Oct.31 (Reuters) – The United States is delivering 1.5 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, bringing the total number of shots to 4 million given by Washington to the autonomous authorities. the island, which is under increasing pressure from China.
Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) new dose delivery will depart from Louisville, Ky., On a flight owned by Taiwanese company China Airlines on Sunday, the official said.
“Our vaccines are not stranded” and were not given to “get any favors or concessions,” administration official Biden said, apparently referring to criticism that Beijing is trying to beef up its geopolitical influence through so-called vaccine diplomacy. .
The official added that Taiwan was a “vital partner” on global health issues.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen thanked the United States and said the donation showed that American support for Taiwan was “rock solid.”
“Building on the solid foundations of this friendship, Taiwan will continue to deepen its partnership with the United States on all fronts,” she said Sunday evening in a Facebook post.
The United States gave 2.5 million doses to the island claimed by China in June, making it one of the first international recipients of American vaccines. Read more
At the time, US officials said China was trying to block Taiwan’s vaccine purchases for political reasons, which Beijing denied.
Japan, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Lithuania have also donated COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, where around 70% of the population has received at least one dose, according to Taiwanese media. Only about 30% of the country’s 24 million people have been fully immunized.
Under pressure to share its coronavirus vaccine supply with the rest of the world, the United States has donated 200 million doses to more than 100 countries, the White House said earlier in October. Read more
Taiwan, a key hub of the tense global technology supply chain, has grown at its slowest pace since Q2 2020 during the July-September period, as the coronavirus slows down to contain a local outbreak that hits consumption. Read more
The United States, which like most countries does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, has watched with concern rising tensions with Beijing. President Joe Biden’s administration has pledged to strengthen ties with the island, which under US law is required to provide the means of defense.
Reporting by Michael Martina; additional reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Diane Craft
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.