Taiwan-U.S. cooperation on global public health and disease prevention has gone from strength to strength with the visit of Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Aug. 12.
In a joint statement signed by Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung and Azar during his four-day visit, Taiwan and the U.S. reaffirmed the two sides’ longstanding collaboration on health challenges.
The commitment builds on existing efforts under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, which has provided a platform to share the Taiwan Model for coronavirus management with the international community, the statement said. Launched in 2015 by Taiwan and the U.S., GCTF aims to build capacity and strengthen multilateral cooperation among like-minded partners such as Australia, Japan and Sweden.
Further coordination will be based on a memorandum of understanding signed Aug. 10 by Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. and American Institute in Taiwan, the statement added.
According to the MOFA, the staunch support and rock-solid friendship from the U.S. shown by Azar’s visit is deeply appreciated. A reliable U.S. partner in the Indo-Pacific, Taiwan will continue deepening bilateral ties with the U.S. and jointly contributing to the global community on major issues, the ministry added.
Azar, who led a U.S. delegation that visited Taiwan Aug. 9-12, met with high-ranking officials including President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President Lai Ching-te, Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin and MOFA Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu; delivered a speech at Taipei City-based National Taiwan University; paid respects to the country’s late former President Lee Teng-hui; and visited a New Taipei City-headquartered manufacturer of machinery for producing surgical masks.
Delegation members also held meetings with local medical experts including Taiwan’s former Vice President Chen Chien-jen to share experiences regarding disease screening and development of treatments and vaccines.
The highest ranking U.S. Cabinet member to visit the country since 1979, Azar is also the first Cabinet official to make the trip in six years.
Source: Taiwan Today (https://taiwantoday.tw/index.php)