mandag 14. juni 2021

How Taiwan’s struggle for Covid vaccines is inflaming tensions with China

Vaccines are the latest flashpoint inflaming cross-strait tensions between China and Taiwan, as the latter tries to fend off its worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began with a mostly unvaccinated population and the former rails against outside assistance from Taipei’s allies.

Global vaccination drives are widely seen as the only way out of the Covid-19 pandemic, but in Taiwan, just 3% of the population has received at least one dose. Now the island is battling hundreds of cases a day and does not have enough vaccines for its 23.5 million people. Affected by global shortages, low initial orders, and accusations of geopolitical interference, it has received only a few million doses, and international allies are stepping up to help.

On 4 June, Japan sent a plane carrying 1.24m AstraZeneca doses and days later a delegation of US senators flew to Taipei to announce a donation of 750,000 doses.