The government yesterday thanked the Czech Republic for its pledge to donate 30,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, saying bilateral relations are a “virtuous circle” among democracies.
Following a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Czech Minister of Health Adam Vojtech said Prague would donate at least 2.39 million vaccine doses to Balkan countries, as well as African and Asian nations through the Team Europe and COVAX initiatives by the end of this year.
Prague would donate 30,000 doses to Taiwan and 250,000 doses to Vietnam, Vojtech said, without specifying a brand.
The donations to Taiwan and Vietnam are “outside the European initiative,” Vojtech wrote on Twitter.
The Czech Republic is the third European nation that has pledged to donate COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, following Lithuania and Slovakia, while the US and Japan had donated millions of doses, although none have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
The Presidential Office thanked the Czech government for its “timely help” and the “heart-warming support” from the Czech Senate and the nation’s citizens.
This demonstrates again that Taiwan and the Czech Republic are not only firm partners on the path of freedom and democracy, but also true friends in need, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said in a statement.
The Czech Republic’s support for Taiwan highlights the “virtuous circle” among democratic countries that are mutually supportive, Chang said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement expressing its gratitude, while underscoring the assistance by Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil, Czech Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Pavel Fischer, Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, as well as diplomatic and health personnel who helped finalize the deal.
On Aug. 30 last year, Vystrcil led an 89-member delegation to Taiwan for a six-day trip, and Fischer and Hrib were part of the delegation.
The ministry has instructed the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Prague to maintain close communications with the Czech government to arrange delivery of the vaccines, it said.
The donation, “in addition to showing concrete help to a country that has already helped us several times, has a strong symbolic value for me,” Vystrcil wrote on Twitter yesterday.
“I appreciate that today the government has decided to help 12 countries with vaccines. It is very correct that there is #Taiwan among them. It has given us generous help and is under increasing pressure from Big Brother,” Fischer wrote in Czech on Twitter on Monday.
Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) shared on Twitter “Taiwan-Czech, Cook & Share” video clips, in which she and Czech Ambassador to the US Hynek Kmonicek exchanged national culinary tips.
“We have to invent ‘pineapple Czech dumpling.’ You will find inside possibly even made-in-Taiwan pineapple,” Kmonicek says in one of the videos.
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