By: Randall G. Schriver |
President Joe Biden announced in May that 80 million vaccine doses would be shipped abroad by the end of June. Aiding the international community and its vulnerable populations is the manifestation of American values. While all allies and partners deserve some prioritization, Taiwan merits special consideration, not only as a responsibility of the United States under the Taiwan Relations Act, but also for the following reasons:
- Taiwan faces a uniquely difficult political obstacle. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is jeopardizing Taiwan’s public health for its authoritarian political objectives. The CCP has aggressively sought to thwart Taiwan’s vaccine efforts. From late-stage meddling of vaccine purchasing contracts to condemnation of allies’ offers of assistance, it is likely these efforts will continue as Taiwan pursues avenues to secure vaccine support.
- Taiwan is critically vulnerable to an outbreak. Taiwan’s population density is highly susceptible to rapid transmission of COVID-19. This is exacerbated by Taiwan’s lack of access to the World Health Organization and other lifelines of international support due to CCP coercion. This could be a window of opportunity to vaccinate the public before the disease gets a foothold.
- Taiwan lent support to the United States. During the early stages of the pandemic, when the United States was reeling from nearly insurmountable equipment shortages, Taiwan demonstrated its commitment and close friendship by rapidly mobilizing to ship critical protective equipment to our people here at home.
Taiwan earned a position as a world leader in COVID-19 prevention, openly sharing its best practices with the international community. The Taiwanese people provided critical assistance to the United States, which saved an untold number of American lives. Now, Taiwan is facing their critical moment. They need our help. We urge the Biden Administration to answer.
The Honorable Randall G. Schriver
The Project 2049 Institute