The People’s Republic of China lashed out at the United States after it promised to send thousands of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan.
The United States has pledged to donate 750,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan in order to combat a recent spike in coronavirus cases, which has left about 300 dead in the island nation. Chinese Communist Party officials expressed disapproval for the aid following the arrival of Sens. Dan Sullivan (R., Alaska), Chris Coons (D., Del.), and Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.) in Taipei on Sunday. Wang Wenbin, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said that China "firmly" opposed any aid plans.
"We urge the U.S. side to immediately cease any forms of official contacts with Taiwan, handle the Taiwan question with caution, and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the separatist forces of 'Taiwan independence' so as to avoid causing further serious damage to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits," Wang said at a Beijing news conference.
Taiwan, which China views as an illegitimate, breakaway province, has also received support from other regional allies, including more than 1 million vaccines from Japan.
Sullivan criticized Beijing for mishandling the pandemic and hampering the global response to the virus. He said bolstering Taiwan and other regional allies will help stop the spread of the virus, as well as affirm America's commitment to Taiwan.
"In spite of a global pandemic emanating from China—characterized by a lack of transparency and lack of international cooperation from the Chinese Communist Party—the United States, by contrast, is committed to working in a constructive and open manner with our friends, allies, and partners to bring healing and relief with effective vaccines that benefit our own citizens, as well as others throughout the world," he said in a statement. "Today’s bipartisan Senate delegation visit to Taiwan is yet another demonstration of that continued commitment to our friends and partners in this critical area of the world."