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“Taiwan Can Help”: The meaning of sharing and caring in COVID times on Taiwan’s National Day

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Posted: Friday, October 2, 2020. 7:54 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Belize may have the Tenth Day of September, but in Taiwan, October 10 is “Double Tenth” – the tenth day of the tenth month, as the National Day of this first Republic in Asia.

The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize says, “Taiwan celebrates Double Tenth National Day this year with enormous confidence, pride and hope for the post-pandemic new life.”

It cites the country’s handling of COVID-19 internally and establishment of more cooperation and friendship opportunities worldwide through sharing its management experience and medical items, drawn upon Taiwan’s collective memory in managing the SARS outbreak of 2003, making “Taiwan Can Help” go from slogan to lifesaving mantra repeated around the globe.

As Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen wrote for Time Magazine in April, “Global crises test the fabric of the international community, stretching us at the seams and threatening to tear us apart. Now more than ever, every link in this global network must be accounted for. We must set aside our differences and work together for the benefit of humankind. The fight against COVID-19 will require the collective efforts of people around the world. Taiwan is no stranger to hardship, and our resilience stems from our willingness to unite to surmount even the toughest obstacles. This, above all else, is what I hope Taiwan can share with the world: the human capacity to overcome challenges together is limitless. Taiwan can help.”

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And it has been helping, with three announced waves of humanitarian assistance to friends and allies alike in the month of April. Taiwan donated more than 20 million masks to European and Western Hemisphere allies in April and May, including the United States, and on April 24, there was a donation of 35,000 forehead thermometers and 250 automatic temperature measurement systems provided by TaiDoc Technology Corp. in a demonstration of how the government and private sector can join forces to help Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and like-minded countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taiwan has also continued to offer its assistance in implementing the Taiwanese model of prudent action, rapid response, and early deployment against COVID-19, developed after the devastation of SARS in 2003, despite being locked out of 70 percent of World Health Organization meetings due to political issues. The former Vice President Chen Chien-jen told The New York Times that no country can fight COVID-19 alone and we have to work together with other countries around the world. Although we are in a better situation, if COVID-19 still exists outside Taiwan, then we are still at risk. This is a good opportunity to let people know that Taiwan is a good global citizen and tries to work together with others on outbreak control and global health. And we are doing that now.

On Double Tenth National Day, the country’s compassion, generosity and standing as a force for good are on full display. Yes! Taiwan can help. A Happy “Double Tenth Day” to our friends in Taiwan.

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