Taiwan donates 10 million face masks to US, Europe and diplomatic allies in wake of coronavirus outbreak

Taiwan donates 10 million face masks to US, Europe and diplomatic allies in wake of coronavirus outbreak

 

On 1 April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced Taiwan will donate 10 million face masks to the US, EU member states and other European nations, and diplomatic allies to support medical personnel in containing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Under the initiative, Taiwan will donate seven million face masks to EU member states as well as the UK and Switzerland, and hold consultations with the EU and individual European countries to establish reciprocal partnerships against COVID-19 such as complementary supply chains for related equipment.

 

MOFA stressed that “Taiwan can help!” is not just a slogan, adding that Taiwan can in fact make a real difference through concrete action. MOFA also emphasised progress in strengthening international epidemic prevention and containment cooperation. In terms of technical cooperation, the US, EU, Czech Republic, Canada and others have held talks with Taiwan’s Academia Sinica and leading Taiwanese vaccine manufacturers. Taiwan has also established cooperative partnerships, including collaborating with Australia for the exchange of materials to combat COVID-19.

 

Following MOFA’s announcement on 1 April, the British Office Taipei (BOT) issued a statement on Facebook expressing the UK’s gratitude: “We are very grateful for Taiwan’s generous offer of surgical masks to the UK among other countries.” That same day, Taiwan’s donation was also highlighted in an article by The Financial Times titled “Taiwan to donate 10m masks to Europe and US”. A few days prior on 27 March, upon news of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s positive diagnosis of coronavirus, President Tsai Ing-wen expressed Taiwan’s support for the PM’s recovery, tweeting “All of us here in Taiwan are wishing you a swift, smooth recovery. Let’s keep working to beat this virus.”

 

Taiwan’s donation of medical face masks to the UK arrived and was safely handed over on 13 April at the designated location, NHS Supply Chain at Daventry.