The Presidential Office yesterday thanked the Polish government for its vaccine donation and said it looks forward to fostering more exchanges with the central European nation.
The delivery of 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Taiwan yesterday morning, making Poland Taiwan’s third-largest vaccine donor, after Japan and the US.
Poland has said that its donation is a gesture of gratitude to Taiwan for donating 1 million masks, 5,000 protective suits and 20,000 surgical gowns to the country last year after the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world and many countries had a shortage of supplies.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Poland said it made the donation to return the favor and help Taiwan to raise its vaccination rate.
“Thank you to Poland for providing Taiwan with 400,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. Your donation reflects the democratic solidarity shared by our countries and peoples in the face of common challenges,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) wrote on Twitter yesterday.
The donation once again showed the support that exists between democratic nations, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said.
Poland’s expression of warmth to Taiwan, which is in need of vaccines, demonstrates a “virtuous cycle,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said, as he voiced his thanks to Poland.
Poland is the fourth EU member state to have pledged a donation of vaccine doses to Taiwan, following Lithuania (20,000 AstraZeneca doses), Slovakia (10,000 doses of an unspecific vaccine brand) and the Czech Republic (30,000 Moderna doses).
Poland’s foreign policy has been affected by the China factor and changes in US policy toward Europe since US President Joe Biden took office, international affairs expert Yang San-yi (楊三億) said on Saturday in comments on the gradually warming relations between Taiwan and Poland.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on China and Hong Kong, expressing its hope that Beijing would safeguard democracy in the territory, Yang said.
The arrest and prosecution of a senior Huawei employee allegedly involved in spying in Poland has also triggered controversy, he said.
Since taking office, Biden’s diplomatic approach has been to reconcile with the EU, Yang said.
The Czech Republic, Lithuania and other countries’ interactions with Taiwan and changes in their policies have received enthusiastic support from the US, which has incentivized central and eastern European countries, he said.
In terms of national security, these countries all hope that the US military would have a regular presence in central and eastern Europe, he added.
As a result, increasing exchanges with Taiwan is increasing US support for them, he said.
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