Taiwan this week announced it will donate two million more masks to the United States, continuing its humanitarian support for its allies during the coronavirus pandemic.
In total, Taiwan is donating ten million masks to the U.S., the European Union member states and other European nations, and diplomatic allies.
“Undertaken in the spirit of ‘Taiwan can help!’ and accompanied by a call for greater international cooperation, this constitutes Taiwan’s first large-scale humanitarian assistance initiative in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak,” a statement from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Taiwan’s two million mask donation is in addition to the 100,000 masks per week provided to the U.S. The donations are under the Taiwan-U.S. epidemic prevention cooperation framework, the statement said.
Taiwan is also donating seven million masks to the EU and member states Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Taiwan will hold consultations with the EU and individual European countries to establish reciprocal partnerships against COVID-19, such as complementary supply chains for related equipment.
Taiwan said now that it has taken care of its domestic needs, the government can direct its attention toward international support.
The ten million masks is only the first wave of assistance, the government said.
“Moving forward, Taiwan will continue to appraise the situation and its own prevention and containment capacity when planning assistance, including that directed toward partner countries under the New Southbound Policy,” it said, referring to regional nations.
“Disease knows no borders. In the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak, Taiwan’s efforts to prevent and contain the disease have drawn international praise. Taiwan also has a responsibility to stand on the frontline and assist others,” it said.
Taiwan has been fighting its exclusion from the World Health Organization (WHO) due to pressure from China. In recent years, China has blocked Taiwan’s participation in the body, even as an observer, and has banned Taiwanese officials from participating in the annual World Health Assembly.
“Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping. Taiwan should not be excluded from the international public health system,” it said in the statement.
“Taiwan again urges WHO to comprehensively include it in related meetings, mechanisms and activities, so that Taiwan can work hand in hand with the world to overcome this grave challenge,” it said.
“Taiwan will take concrete actions to prove to the international community that the world needs Taiwan and that Taiwan will not be absent.”