Taiwan to put US$2 million in health fund for Pacific nations

Taiwan will put US$2 million (NT$61 million) in a special fund to improve healthcare and living conditions in the Pacific islands, Vice President Chen Chien-jen said Tuesday.

Of Taiwan’s 15 remaining official diplomatic allies, four are located in the Pacific, namely the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Palau and Nauru. Earlier this year, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched recognition to China.

Speaking during a meeting with participants in the 2019 Pacific Islands Leadership Programme in Taipei Tuesday, Chen said that apart from contributing to scholarships and to regional development plans, Taiwan would also launch the healthcare fund.

The vice president praised the trilateral cooperation between Taiwan, the United States and the Pacific island nations and thanked the latter for their support at international organisations, where Taipei faces bullying by China as a major hurdle to participation.

Chen also emphasised the historical and linguistic links between Taiwan and its diplomatic allies in the Pacific region...