The unprecedented increase in domestic mask production enabled Taiwan to help other countries trying to secure PPE supplies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced a second round of donations April 9, delivering a further six million medical masks to severely hit states in the U.S.; EU members in central, eastern and northern Europe; countries in the Caribbean and Latin America; as well as nations targeted under the New Southbound Policy (NSP).
A key plank of the government’s national development strategy, the NSP seeks to enhance Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
A further shipment of 2 million masks arrived in Tokyo April 21 to help Japan’s front-line medical staffers. Aside from masks, other essential pieces of equipment donated by Taiwan include face shields, disinfectants, thermometers, thermal imaging devices and ventilators.
Taiwan’s largesse has not gone unnoticed in the international community. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweet April 8 that the openness and generosity of Taiwan in the global battle against COVID-19 are a model for the world. This was echoed by Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini of African ally Kingdom of Eswatini, who thanked Taiwan for providing financial and human resources to combat coronavirus.