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US donates 2.5 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan

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Washington | June 20, 2021 4:44:41 AM IST
The United States on Saturday (local time) informed that an additional 2.5 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses will reach Taiwan amid growing tensions between the island and China.

"Wheels up! Our donation of 2.5 million vaccine doses is on the way to Taiwan, whose health partnership with the US helped save lives here and around the world," State Department spokesperson Ned Price tweeted.

"The State Department is proud to support President Joe Biden's commitment to help the world defeat COVID-19," he added.

Earlier, the US committed 750,000 doses to the island but increased the number after the Biden administration committed to sending more doses around the world.

The Hill reported that China has attempted to send Taiwan vaccine doses, but the island refused them, citing safety concerns, creating more tension in an already strained relationship.

China and Taiwan have clashed recently, with China claiming Taiwan is part of its territory. China has condemned any actions by the U.S. it perceives as challenging that claim.

China recently sent dozens of warplanes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, even though the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

Recently, the Group of Seven Seven leaders issued a joint statement, slamming China for a series of issues and underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait -- comments China condemned as "slander."

Taiwan has complained in recent months of repeated missions by China's air force near the island, concentrated in the southwestern part of its air defence zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. (ANI)

 
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