The U.S. is more than tripling the number of vaccines it’ll supply to Taiwan. A senior administration official told Reuters the U.S. will ship 2.5 million of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan on Saturday.
The official said the donation was made to save lives and was not tied to political or economic conditions.
The shipment comes as Washington embarks on “vaccine diplomacy,” competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout. Taiwan has been increasingly facing political and military pressure from China.
China has offered to send doses to the island, which it considers its territory, but Taipei has expressed concern about the safety of Chinese shots. Taiwan’s deal to buy vaccines from Germany’s Biontech fell through, and Taipei blamed that on pressure from Beijing. China has denied that accusation.
The shipment also comes as Washington works with Taipei to secure supply chains for chips and other strategic items.
The Biden Administration has vowed to boost ties with Taiwan, which has no formal diplomatic ties with the U.S.