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Taiwan offers help to China in tackling fresh spate of Covid-19 infections

TaipeiEdited By: Manas JoshiUpdated: Jan 01, 2023, 05:41 PM IST
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Photograph:(Reuters)

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Taiwan President Tsai ing-wen, in her traditional New Year message delivered at the presidential office, said everyone had seen the rise in Covid cases in China.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday (January 1) said Taiwan was ready to provide "necessary assistance" to China to help it deal with the fresh wave of Covid infections. She also noted that Chinese military activities near the island were not beneficial to peace and stability.

China, last month, abruptly relaxed its ultra-strict 'Zero-Covid' policy. This has led to a steep spike in number of new infections. As per some international health experts, Covid is spreading through China largely unchecked and may be infecting millions of people a day.

Watch | China: Covid-19 cases on the rise, WHO urges to share real-time data

Tsai, in her traditional new year message, delivered at the presidential office, said everyone had seen the rise in cases in China.

"As long as there is a need, based on the position of humanitarian care, we are willing to provide the necessary assistance to help more people get out of the pandemic and have a healthy and safe new year," she said, without elaborating.

China considers Taiwan to be Chinese territory and has not ruled out the use of force to control the self-governing island.

Taiwan and China have repeatedly sparred over their respective measures to control the spread of Covid.

China had criticised Taiwan for ineffective management of the pandemic after soaring domestic infections last year, while Taiwan has accused China of a lack of transparency and trying to interfere with vaccine supplies to Taiwan, which Beijing has denied.

Tsai reiterated a call for dialogue with China, saying war was not an option to resolve problems.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his New Year address on Saturday evening, made only brief reference of Taiwan, saying people on either side of the Taiwan Strait "are members of one and the same family", and made no mention of seeking to bring the island under Chinese control.

(With inputs from agencies)

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