TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwanese and U.S. governments held a telephone meeting discussing ways to increase Taiwan’s international participation amid the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as the island nation has been consistently praised for successfully controlling the spread of the virus.
“The discussion focused on creating forums to share the successful and internationally lauded Taiwan Model on fighting COVID-19 with countries around the world,” said U.S. State Department’s spokesperson office via a statement on Friday (April 3). The meeting was attended by high-level officials representing the State Department, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and representative offices of the two nations.
“Participants also discussed ongoing efforts to reinstate Taiwan’s observer status at the World Health Assembly, as well as other avenues for closer coordination between Taiwan and the World Health Organization,” according to the statement. “Countries around the world can benefit from better understanding the Taiwan Model, as well as the generous contributions and impressive expertise Taiwan,” it added.
Taiwan and the U.S. issued a joint statement last month on collaborating to combat the coronavirus, which has infected more than one million people worldwide and killed over 50,000 since the virus outbreak first took place in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. The deal involves research regarding test kits, vaccines, and medication for the coronavirus.
Under this project, Taiwan will provide 200,000 surgical masks to the U.S. on a weekly basis in exchange for materials that can be made into 300,000 units of protective clothing.
During a recent meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the State Department would do its best to assist Taiwan’s appropriate role in the world’s highest health policy-setting body. He added that the Department of State would comply with the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump last month.
The act stipulates that the U.S. should work to strengthen Taiwan’s relations with its allies and expand Taiwan’s global standing. In addition, the U.S. government should use its vote, voice, and influence to advocate Taiwan’s participation in international organizations as either a member or an observer.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the bilateral governmental meeting. “During the meeting, we shared an array of measures implemented in Taiwan to tackle the coronavirus,” said the ministry via a statement.
Both parties also discussed possible ways to facilitate cooperation between Taiwan and countries sharing similar values, and to promote Taiwan’s inclusion in the international community, the ministry added.
Participants of the meeting included U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Pam Pryor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Atul Keshap, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Jonathan Fritz, Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵), and Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao (高碩泰).