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Taiwan has much to offer in fight against COVID-19

People wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus in Taipei on March 31.Chiang Ying-ying/Associated Press

Re “Excluding Taiwan from WHO is a political and medical outrage” by Jeff Jacoby (Opinion, April 1): Taiwan has much to offer from experience to stop COVID-19 in its tracks. While many countries are mired in the devastating wave brought on by the coronavirus, Taiwan is a vibrant democracy with, as Jacoby notes, a sophisticated, world-class health care network that has managed to flatten the curve to a large extent by taking decisive measures early on and ahead of the rest of the world. In fact, some predicted that Taiwan would have the second-highest importation risk of any country. Instead, our efforts have proved effective even as people continue to work and attend school.

Our success in fighting COVID-19 is remarkable when you consider Taiwan’s proximity to China and the stark reality that Taiwan is not allowed access to the World Health Organization. In excluding Taiwan, the WHO also overlooks the fact that China has never ruled over Taiwan and, therefore, does not represent its 23 million citizens in any capacity.


The United States and Taiwan share a long history of friendship and cooperation. Taiwan has always been a responsible member of the international community. In addition to an earlier arrangement to donate 100,000 masks per week to the United States, President Tsai Ing-wen has pledged to donate 10 million face masks to countries to fight against COVID-19, including 1 million to the United States. During this difficult time, the people of Taiwan stand with our friends across the United States and the world as we fight the pandemic together. The message to the WHO and the world is clear: Taiwan cares and is ready to help.

Douglas Y.T. Hsu

Director General

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston