U.S. will not let Taiwan stand alone: visiting senator

06/06/2021 01:45 PM
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The U.S. Air Force plane that flew the three visiting senators is picture in Taipei Songshan Airport Sunday. CNA photo June 6, 2021
The U.S. Air Force plane that flew the three visiting senators is picture in Taipei Songshan Airport Sunday. CNA photo June 6, 2021

Taipei, June 6 (CNA) The United States will not let Taiwan stand alone and will help the people of Taiwan in getting to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said during a brief visit to Taipei on Sunday.

Duckworth was in Taiwan for a brief three-hour stopover Sunday morning along with senators Dan Sullivan and Christopher Coons after the trio visited South Korea. They touched down at 7:19 a.m. and delivered brief addresses before meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

In her address, Duckworth announced that the U.S. will be donating 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan as part of its plan to share at least 80 million vaccines doses globally.

The batch of vaccines sent to Taiwan will be among the first 25 million doses the U.S. sends out, Duckworth said.

"It was critical to the United States that Taiwan be included in the first group to receive vaccines, because we recognize your urgent need and we value this partnership," she said.

Duckworth also touched on a more personal note regarding her family history. Her father's family, she said, has served in the U.S. military since the American Revolutionary War. Her mother's family fled Guangdong, China, on foot to escape communism.

"My family and I know the price of freedom. And I'm here to tell you that the United States will not let you stand alone," said Duckworth, who served in the U.S. military for over 20 years before being elected to Congress.

"We will be by your side to make sure the people of Taiwan have what they need to get to the other side of this pandemic and beyond."

U.S. Senator Ladda Tammy Duckworth (left) speaks during the meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (right). Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office
U.S. Senator Ladda Tammy Duckworth (left) speaks during the meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (right). Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office

Sullivan said U.S. support for Taiwan is bipartisan and "rock solid," and that the donation of vaccines reflects the U.S.' gratitude for Taiwan's donation of over 10 million surgical face masks to the U.S. in the early days of the pandemic.

Coons, meanwhile, noted that Taiwan has been prevented from joining world health alliances and "has had road blocks put up towards its access to safe and effective vaccines."

"There are some countries that question whether the United States will come to the aid of our friends in Taiwan," Coons said. This is a moment "for us to make it clear that we intend to do so."

In the senators' meeting with President Tsai, she thanked them for their show of bipartisan support for Taiwan through their visit, and for the senators' help in securing vaccines for Taiwan.

Through cooperating with countries like the U.S. and Japan, Taiwan is sure to overcome the challenges it now faces and help other countries in their fight against COVID-19, Tsai said.

(By Matt Yu, Sophia Yeh and Chiang Yi-ching)

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