US vaccine aid to Taiwan comes with political condition: be Washington’s pawn to confront mainland
Published: Jun 20, 2021 11:30 AM Updated: Jun 20, 2021 05:30 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The 2.5 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the US kicked off their way to Taiwan on Saturday have excited the island's authorities—and they are loudly expressing their gratitude. 

I think the US should send 25 million doses to the island. Because 2.5 million doses are still a drop in the bucket, especially at a time when extreme cases have constantly arisen after people on the island took the AstraZeneca vaccine. As of Saturday, at least 49 people have died after being vaccinated 

A senior US administration official told Reuters that the doses donated by the US to Taiwan do not come attached with "political or economic conditions." The official also criticized China. This shows that this batch of US vaccines is actually "political" aid. The strong political conditions attached to it are: Taiwan must firmly follow Washington's lead and act as a strategic pawn to confront the mainland. 

The Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities' policies on COVID-19 vaccines have been highly politicized. But the mainland's vaccine assistance policy to Taiwan is truly humanitarian. The attitude of the Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group combines humanitarianism with business rules, with no politics involved.

The DPP authorities have made such a simple vaccine issue so complicated. They may be the only one to do so in the world. They have shown extreme sensitivity and fear. Considering the DPP's extreme policies, the mainland can only hope that the people of Taiwan will be vaccinated as soon as possible no matter through what channel, and there will be fewer deaths after vaccination. As for the political games between the mainland and the US and Taiwan, there are many fields to carry out the competition. The mainland will not, and has no interest, in regarding vaccine as a battlefield. For the mainland, COVID-19 vaccine means nothing but anti-epidemic efforts and humanitarianism. We firmly oppose turning vaccines into political tools.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn